Farmer Tam’s field report
July is the beginning of summer abundance
Garden abundance pallet art by Charee Moore’s I made that! board on Pinterest.
First it’s the weeds, popping up with wild abandon with no regard for our nice neat rows. But some are edible, like the “Fat Hen” and “Red-rooted Amaranth”, which we’ll be cutting for bunches soon.
Rows of greens
Cultivated greens begin with soft-leaved lettuces, baby Swiss chard and curly kale! The rows of these and other eclectic greens – like komatsuna – need cuttting every 10 days. The spinach came and went quickly in the heat, bolting to the sky in the 28 C weather, but soon there will be heads of bok choi to harvest!
Curly kale image from In my garden board on Pinterest.
Greenhouse cucs and tomatoes
The cucumbers like the heat, and in the greenhouse, are beginning to fruit, prickly with baby cucumbers. They double in size every three days! The tomatoes like the heat, too, with trusses of heritage fruit in all sizes and colors, on the verge ripening to pick.
Potatoes, beans and peas
The promise of profusion carries over into the new potatoes, peas and beans. Right now, if you take a walk into the sea of potatoes planted at the farm gardens. Row upon row, the flower buds a-top the plants, days away from bursting open, you know that baby potatoes are just around the corner! The pea and bean blossoms are also starting, with baby snappy green pods, tempting us to pluck for a quick field crunch as we weed, and weed and weed!
Secret gardens of strawberries
Green and orange strawberries hang under the canopy of strawberry leaves, taking cover from the crows and summer showers! Strawberry season will come and go in a flash this season. There is a just small 1/2 acre field for u-pick, with another secret garden of berries ripening at the farm, but there’s new growth coming – we’ve started a new patch with 17,000 plants,”runnering” madly for 2015’s crop.
Strawberry flower image from DIY network’s blog on how to grow strawberries.
Happy maze maize
Happy rows of corn dance in delight with the summer thundershowers. They need the moisture and heat to grow! (By the way, the maze maize (corn) grows a foot taller every week this time of year).
Like our food production, summer sees a bounty of events. Our summer team has been weeding the last couple of weeks, and are excited and proud to show off their hard work, offering garden tours to day-trippers who come to experience the farm, to be outside, play in the bale maze, and visit with the goats!
BBQs, weddings and parties
Events – public and private – kick into high gear in the summer. So far this season, we’ve welcomed the employees from several companies to the farm for their employee summer BBQ’s. We’ve had two country weddings, filled with joy and smiles, celebrating an afternoon of love, friendship, and good food. We’ve hosted multiple birthday parties, a family reunion, and welcomed 1,500 children, teachers and parents for a last hurrah – end of school year parties! And we’re just getting started.
By mid July, we’ll open the farm stand for the summer on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Prairie Gardens bridal bouquet from Petals n’ Possibilities on Facebook.
Special days to visit
Celebrate the abundance with us at the farm this summer:
- Buy your tickets for the RGE RD Field to Fork gourmet summer dinner on Sun, July 20, from 5:30–9 pm
- Tour de l’Alberta bicyclists wheel in from 10 am–2 pm on Sun, July 27 – sign up at http://www.tourdalberta.ca/
- The Fairy Berry Festival & grand opening of the Mindbender and Kidz’ corn mazes runs Sat, Aug 2 to Mon, Aug 4 with special activities from 11 am–3 pm. Included with your season’s pass!
- Town of Bon Accord’s Harvest Day Festival – our local village fair and parade on Aug 9 & 10
- Grillin’ in the Garden BBQ on Fri, Aug 22 – buy your tickets by Aug 18 6:30 – 9 pm, adults $30, kids $15
- Alberta Open Farm Days showcases Prairie Gardens & other neighboring farms on Sat, Aug 23. Included in your annual season’s pass
- Buy your tickets for the RGE RD Open Farm Day Gourmet Field to Fork Harvest Dinner on Sun, Aug 24
- Sweet Sweet Corn Fest on the Labour Day weekend, Aug 30 – Sep 1. Included in your season’s pass.
You bring life to the farm
On a deeper level, visiting the farm and our events are essential to our continued farming success. Yes, we want to create a place for people to come and experience our farm and nature, but also for people to come and continue to connect with where your food comes from.
It’s important for us to bring life to the farm. We constantly take from the plants and the soil, and we need to replenish what we take. The presence of people infuses our team and our plants with energy and enthusiasm.
If you’re interested in learning more about our events, would like to host a private shindig, or participate in helping on the farm with harvest on distribution days, feel free to drop us an email!
We hope to see you at our farm!
Your farmer, Tam