CSA 2021 – A Word from Farmer Tam

The Long Haul Farmer Tam’s Blog                                                                                                                   January, 2021 Seven acres of broccoli is a lot of broccoli.  A lot to harvest. Ambitious and naïve. It was 1987 and our first year of growing vegetables on a large scale. We had decided that our twenty five acre farm should be able to support us with a living wage by growing food … Read More

Ready to Rot?: An Introduction to Compost- Mackenzie Martins

The word compost comes from the latin com meaning “together” and post meaning “to bring”. It is the bringing together of organic matter into a process of decomposition, which produces a soil conditioner rich in nutrients. From home gardeners to small scale farms like Prairie Gardens, composting is one of the best things we can do for our plants and … Read More

Unforeseen Moments on the Farm- Kaitlin Baronas

When I arrived at Prairie Gardens, just over two months ago now, I didn’t think many things would be different. I have lived in rural farming country my entire life and so when I got the apprenticeship here in Bon Accord, Alberta I thought the weeds would be weeds, the soil normal, the weather similar if not colder in the … Read More

It’s All About the Stinging Nettle – Eric Shapiro

On the seventh day of my apprenticeship at Prairie Gardens, I, along with Mackenzie, another apprentice, were told to collect some stinging nettle. Wear gloves, they said. I guess stinging nettle hurts, I thought. That should give you an idea of how much I knew about stinging nettle, in other words, pretty much nothing. I’d vaguely heard of the name … Read More

Carrie’s CSA adventures with Amaranth and Wheat berries

July 2nd’s CSA basket from Prairie Gardens contained: Amaranth Red Root Bunch, Lambsquarters (Fat Hen), Rhubarb, Edible Flowers, Oregano, Tea Mix (Pineapple Mint, Sage, Stevia), Oxalis, Multiplier Onions and Wheat Berries. This week I had success in creating something new for the family and I also had some hiccups. Let’s start with the items that didn’t go as planned. Transplanting … Read More

17 backyard fruits – Sweet, fresh and very, very local

Even with a short season, Alberta gardeners grow apples, goji berries (pictured above), stone fruit, even grapes in their backyards. Here are just some of the fruit varieties available at the Prairie Gardens greenhouse right now. Apples We grow great apples that are hardy enough for the prairies. Red Sparkle, Winter Cheeks, Goodland, September Ruby and Kerr are all productive … Read More

Aw – Snap! It’s Winter.

CBC radio announcer’s voice drifts through my thoughts… “The cold snap continues – with no relief in sight!” A cruel high blew in from the north, bringing with it a bone chilling -32 C wind. The snow from last night and this morning isn’t going to be enough to keep the kale alive, I worry. So I’m still out harvesting, … Read More

Play with your food: Ten things to do with pumpkins

It’s pumpkin season at Prairie Gardens – where Tam and her team grow 100,000 pumpkins every year! Giant Jacks, ice blue (with and without belly buttons), green and bumpy, tiny and white – what are you going to do with all these? Make a pie or watch them fly – here are ten ways to play with pumpkins. Haunted Pumpkin … Read More

CSA family report: Our magic Sundays

It’s been a sweet summer for us at the farm. We’ve been eating our vegetables all through the week and each Sunday we play on the go-karts and swing in the farm’s old tree. Sometimes I remember to bring our leftover greens for the goats, sheep and bunnies. Mama goats love them especially. This is our fourth year in the CSA, … Read More

Plant. Rain. Weed. Grow.

A letter from Farmer Tam It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sit and write. It’s been a furious, tumultuous, crazy spring season. Scatter the seeds. Plant the onions. Plant the tomatoes. Transplant the pumpkins. Rain! Weeds. Grow. Now that spring has come and gone, it’s with a heavy heart; I share the news that my Mum, … Read More