Saturday, August 30, 2014

Its time to order your Garlic!

What more can I say?

It's time to order your garlic for the winter eating.  I would say that the average family of four would eat about 5 pounds of garlic in a year. Our garlic will keep well in a cool and dry place until June. Fluctuating Temperatures and Humidity tends to cause garlic to grow or go moldy, so pay close attention as to where you keep it. Fridges are not a good place as they tend to be humid. Keeping the garlic well ventilated, as in not closed in a bag or box, but allow air to freely move around the bulbs really helps in maintaining quality.

If you are looking for garlic to plant, then now is the time to order what you need.  Here at Railway Creek Farm we plant in October, sometimes earlier if the fall looks like its going to be miserable. Keep in mind that porcelain garlic have 4 cloves and the rocamboles have about 7 to 9 cloves. So order as many bulbs now as you will need at harvest for your eating needs.  Hint 5 pounds of decent size garlic holds abut 30 to 40 bulbs.  You do the math.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  And please follow the instruction on the how to order tab after you had a look under the garlic catalog tab.

Good Luck!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Garlic Harvest Day at the Farm

Come on out to the farm and help me harvest some garlic.

Bring kids, spouses, parents, grandparents and friends. This is the Third Annual Garlic Crop Mob. Spend a day on a working farm, experience a day in the life of a garlic grower. Meet new people and just have some fun. You come and help me, and in return you
 will receive a coupon for garlic,redeemable in September once the garlic is sorted and cured and ready to ship.

This coupon will give you a selection of garlic of your choice, or a package of 'growers choice", for those who don't know what to start with. You will also learn how to grow, care for and harvest garlic.

Its a pot luck lunch, so bring your favorite dish. Also bring hat, sunscreen, and water containers. Oh, one more thing, Please register with me ASAP so I know how many people to expect.

In the event that the garlic is ready earlier I will have to change the date to Sunday July 20th. so keep updated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fast pace vs Slow

There are many perks of living on a farm. The space and wilderness, the animals we care for and love, and the good food we raise and share. However, many urban people may think its a slow easy life, like driving a slow moving tractors, watching the slow growing crops, the slow task of cutting hay, us harvest garlic. Speed and efficiency and long hours of hard back breaking work, (well not quite that hard) would send a few urbanites back to their comfy couches. But i love this time of year. And so i am still thinking of Crop Mob Day for those urban back yard gardeners who would come out to spend a day helping a farmer harvest garlic. You can pick my brain.....share a pot luck lunch and take a walk around my veggie garden. This isn't a entertainment farm, but a working one and sometimes i could use some extra hands. keep watching here for more info as i pick the right Sunday in July.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's almost summer in the garlic patch

Summer is almost here and it's a fabulous time of year , but of course I am a gardener!. I like this time of year because i see so many new events happening. New leaves unfurling on the end of trees branches, new profusion of blossoms in the flower gardens, the new kinds of birds Mum has attracted to the feeder in the newly sprouted pea patch, newly tilled veggy garden, new berry bushes and veggy transplanted in straight rows, a new crop of garlic.

My first favourite event at this fabulous time is the new rapid growth of the asparagus, the first veggy crop to be harvested.  Peak season came on fast in the first week of the harvest and is continuing to be good. Something new occurred in the asparagus patch this year that i have not seen yet, and that is the asparagus beetle must have been reduced in numbers by the harsh winter we just had because there just aren’t many out and of course that means the spears are not damaged by the them feeding.  Wish winter was harsh on all the pesky black flies and mosquitoes too!

My next favourite event is the emergence of 17000 garlic plants.  They look great this year, at least the above ground parts that i can see look great. I walked through the patch with my note book this weekend and noted which varieties and strains are doing the best and which are not. Some are displaying cold damage by having yellow tips on the ends of their leaves. Not to worry, they will recover. However there are some that never put on a show of dark green leaves and hardiness, but they always produce a good crop of bulbs any way! Some strains are currently undergoing a vigorous assessment as to which ones i am keeping and which ones i may not. Baba Chesneck and Purple Glazer are looking not too bad and should be keepers. Others are just struggling too much to even give them a second chance.

Kazakhstan, Romanian, Armenian and the Carpathian have been added to my collection in the last 3 years and they are doing phenomenal! These will available in September.

Two new daily tasks have been added to my schedule this week; the process of weeding the garlic and inspecting for the leek moth larvae .Alas, this winter was not harsh enough on them and they are still around this year. First egg laying session has already taken place, and today i even found some have already settled higher up on the garlic leaves to metamorphose into a moth. So as I weed, I squish! And while I am removing vegetative and insect pest, i am planning for the third annual Garlic Harvest Crop Mob! I will be talking about this for the next 6 weeks or so. Tentative dates are July 15th , 22nd or the 29th. I expect the garlic harvest to occur much earlier than it did last year! So stay tuned on Facebook, twitter and here for more information.

My third favourite event is planting my personal garden. New this year is that the top half of the garden will be in fallow, planted to white clover seed in to let the land rest for a few years.   I will continue to use the cold frames and boxes for the fussy plants such as herbs and celery as well as continuous lettuce and greens planting. The rest of the garden is in all the typical garden veggy selection.

Something else that is new this year is a Let's-see-if-this-works project, i planted Saskatoon berry trees and haskaps bushes.  These are replacing the gooseberries and the black current bushes that have never produced well for me.(maybe because i really don’t like them)  Saskatoon and haskap produce their blueberry like fruit in June which is  my least busiest time in terms of harvesting. I am hoping they will be excellent in smoothies, if not, at least they will be good in pies and jams.

So with a full plate of activities on the veggy farm I am one very busy gardener.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

chicken orders now closed

Happy Spring to all,

And yes! Spring is coming soon to a garden and farm near you.

And what a glorious snowy winter we had! Other than too many super freezing days and a lot more firewood used than planned for, I rather enjoyed the winter. All winter born calves are doing fine, a broody Chanteclair hen hatched out 2 chicks, they now have wing feathers showing. Horses are eager to gallop in the fields and cats are looking forward to the spring mouse hunt.

It's that time again when I begin to plan my summer planting and harvest. I will not be attending many Belleville Market days this coming year. I am putting all my energies into developing the garlic production and sales. I will be selling in and around the Quinte area most weekends once garlic is harvested and cured. Just keep an eye on the website event page for dates and places.

Part of 2014 planning is filling chicken orders. I have already ordered 50 meat birds for my family, However, I am getting request for organic chickens from some of you. I will raise meat chickens using organic feed produced by Homestead Organics and garden goodies. They will be as free ranged as these fast growing hybrid birds will choose .
Friday is the cut off date to add to my order.
So if you would like to order...

Here is how;
Email me the number of birds you would like. I am again asking for as $10 down payment per bird ordered. I am still selling the chickens at $6/lb and they average 4 to 6 pounds. 

I am asking that you pay the down payment portion thru PayPal so i can process the orders by Friday. If you need to pay by cheque, please tell me and we can come up with other arrangements.

The other change this year is that you will need to come to the farm to pick up the frozen chickens and pay the remaining portion due. (possibly june 20). I will inform you of this pick up date once I book the abattoir.