Rhubarb ready for picking

Our rhubarb is finally coming ready for picking. The cool weather we have had, slowed it down to a glacial pace…, however, it is finally shooting upward. We should have rhubarb from this Thursday, May 13 till the end of June. We love to eat it fresh and put some away for stewing and baking in the winter. It is especially good with the first strawberries, a celestial match if there ever was one!

 

We are open for u-pick and pre-picked by appointment. Call ahead to set up a time. We also wholesale (orders of 10 lbs. or more). Our price is $3/lb. for u-pick, $4/lb. for pre-picked and $2-3 for wholesale (depending on size of order, pickup or delivery, etc.)
Please call ahead at (519) 665-7982
(landline so no texts please), or email devanpenney@gmail.com.

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Asparagus and Rhubarb Emerging

Here we go!

Asparagus and rhubarb are two of the earliest food plants available for harvest and we look forward to both of them. Like many other early crops in this climate, they are both cold hearty perennials that have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Though the stems and leaves of both plants are sensitive to frost, the crowns remain safely protected in the soil and new shoots emerge and grow quickly.

 

We have just doubled our asparagus planting to between ½ and 2/3 of an acre. It takes several years (and a lot of work!) to get established, so production will be fairly light over the next couple years. After that we should have lots, and plan on selling it at the farm and to wholesale customers. Please be in touch if you would like more information on wholesale opportunities ­­­>>>>

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Cutting FireWood

The Start of the Season

We provide the majority of our heat for our home and greenhouse with firewood. Greenhouses are most commonly heated with propane, natural gas, or oil, all fossil fuels that we are trying to avoid. We have a propane furnace, but try to use it only as a back-up, for un-expected cloudy or cold weather and for those cold nights in March and April, when we struggle to get up in the late night and early morning to stoke the fireplace… It’s hard to start the season as tired!

Lucky for us, we have about 35-40 acres of woodlot, so we are able to sustainably harvest firewood. The theory goes, if you are planting trees and managing your woodlot to increase its size, age, complexity and maturity, the amount of carbon sequestered back into the trees and soil is the same as, or more, than the carbon released through burning. This way we can have a ‘carbon neutral’ heating system for our greenhouse, as long as we don’t use our propane furnace too much…

Having a greenhouse is important for our sweetcorn production. The climate in our area is challenging for sweet corn, especially organic sweet corn production. Corn does not like cold toes, waiting till the soil temperature is quite warm before germinating. One of the ways we get around this is by starting seedlings in our greenhouse and transplanting them to the field once warm enough.

 

So, these photos are in a way the beginning of sweet corn production for the season… mmm… sweet corn!

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Our Strawberry Fields

We started growing strawberries for our foodbox program in 2013. A few years later we started gradually opening for u-pick and by 2018, we started selling small scale wholesale. Of all the crops we grow, we feel that strawberries are the most important to produce organically. It is considered one of the “dirty dozen,” a list of crops that have the highest levels of pesticide contamination. In fact, strawberries usually top the list…

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