We're in the home stretch - the last month of our regular growing season. There hasn't been a frost here yet so while many things have slowed down, we're still seeing bees gathering pollen and new zucchinis forming. Friends only 20 kilometres north of here have already had four nights with frost - a little distance can make a big difference.
We now spend parts of our days preparing the field for winter. We're packing up irrigation equipment, rolling up landscape fabric that we use for certain crops, and we'll soon be distributing compost and making new beds for next season.
Due to ongoing and apparently worsening issues with global supply chain infrastructure, we've decided to move up our procurement of critical materials needed for next season. In past years we have been able to order new irrigation equipment, lumber, or starting soil in the spring without issue, but we're acquiring these items now so if there is an issue with availability, we have many months to address it.
With thanksgiving just over a week away, we figured it's time to share some quintessential seasonal items: this week's share will include both a butternut
squash and a pie pumpkin. We'll also be including a bunch of mixed herbs (thyme, rosemary, and sage) that you may find useful for soups, stuffing, or seasoning some simple roasted veggies.
And to further round out the seasonal menu, next weeks shares will feature red onions, acorn squash, and garlic.
Our Bee Experiment
One brand new experiment we tried on the farm this year was keeping bees!
In the winter we bought, assembled, and painted our first hive - a "flow hive" that aims to simplify the process of gathering honey.
In addition to reading books, attending a great instructional session put on by the Ontario Bee Association tech-transfer team, and watching videos, we were greatly helped by a friend and established bee-keeper (who also attends the Kinmount Farmers Market).
This spring the hive started small but was well cared for. We built an electric fence to protect the hive from skunks, raccoon's, and bears, and did our regular inspections to keep an eye on it's progress.
The first year for a brand new hive can be more of a "building year" rather than a windfall of honey. We did harvest some honey but only enough to use at home.
This Week's Share
Sage, Thyme, Rosemary
Food Bank Support
So far this season we've donated over 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to our local food banks through the Kawartha Lakes Food Source. Thanks to all of you who support our operation and make this possible :).