2016 Registration

The day we've all been waiting for... Snow Day! We received 3"+ fluffy wet snowman snow since last night. Just in time for...

Registration Day!

Jump on over to our CSA Page, download the Shareholder's Agreement, and then take advantage of (our first ever) Early Bird Pricing. $340 /share instead of $350! No PayPal fee. 

As always, there'll be add-on's like eggs, honey, microgreens available to add to your share, we're just working out the details with our farmer friends now. Once those packages are available we'll let you know!

Thanks for all the support these last 3 seasons, looking forward to seeing you with us this spring!

- Deb

Getting Seeds in the Ground

Hi! It's been a while, I know.

Our CSA officially sold out a couple weeks ago (yay!). An announcement about our annual "Meet Your Farmer" event is coming soon.

I had a great time teaching, with Molly MacD, about Cooking With Wild Roses at Eat Alberta this year. Jellies, Jam, Syrups, Ice Cream, Rose Petal Water, Rose Petal Scones, Rosehip Tea, and the list goes on. "The Boreal Feast" has a great selection of recipes using wild roses and many other wild edibles. It's great for a first time forager because it's easily ID'd and user friendly. 

Thinking of edible flowers, I made a Lilac Jelly today. It's a beautiful pale pink and tastes exactly how lilacs smell. Just divine!
Next, Dandelion Jelly. Then, when they come into season, Wild Rose Petal Jelly. 
It's gonna be awwwwwwesome!

The new greenhouse is doing a great job keeping our peanut and pepper transplants happy. The tomatoes and brassicas are out hardening off already. We're ALMOST done seeding the hot weather veggies (winter squash, zucchini, corn, beans, cucumbers, melons).
Every year, since we started growing commercially, it's been a struggle to get them all in on time. I feel so ahead of the game even though I wanted them to be all done by the end of May. There's all the melons (I started some in pots a while ago, just to have some earlier ones), a handful of dried bean varieties (9 bush varieties and 12 or so pole varieties to go), some winter squash (2/3 of them are already planted), 2 types of flour corn and the sorghum are left to plant. Summer squash, zucchini, pumpkins, fresh beans, cucumbers, popcorn, and sweet corn are all completed. Some are already starting to come up! Yay!

One great thing this year is we had saved enough seed to make it worth while for our friend John of Gold Forest Grains to grow out our Baba's Early Alberta corn. It's a flint corn so we harvest it after it's dried down on the stalk then grind it into cornmeal. He planted close to 3 lbs of seed this spring. I'm so excited!!! 

Onion + Leek, Tomato and Brassica (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc) transplants are next on the list. Transplanting almost always gets the short end of the stick because those guys are already growing and will be just fine in pots for a little while longer. Seeds on the other hand... they pretty much get priority. 

We can always use a hand this time of year. We signed up with WWOOF Canada this year and will be getting some much needed help during harvest in September, but none for seeding.
I know this weekend is gonna be a hot one, but if you need a break from the city know that it'll be a few degrees cooler at the farm (and I have ice cream!). Would love a hand getting the transplants in. We always make sure our helpers are well fed and taken care of :)

- Deb

The "Off-Season"

One of the most exciting times during our off-season is doing seed inventory then going through all the wonderful seed catalogues to order what we need and to see what's new.

New is sometimes a new open-pollinated variety (future heirloom) or an old variety that is making it's way back into mainstream. Every now-and-then we find a "new to us" seed company and discover heirlooms (and vegetables!) from other countries.

An important part of running a CSA is having income before the growing season to purchase seeds, seeding equipment, greenhouse equipment, etc. If you're thinking about joining please head over to our CSA info page and send in a deposit (if you can't pay the full share up front). It takes financial pressure off of us and we get a head-start on prep for the growing season! 

Last season we successfully grew out 2 types of carrot seeds and parsnip seed. Potatoes are also saved every fall to plant out in the spring. We allow flowers to go to seed in the garden so when the conditions are right they'll pop up and fill our field with colour.

In the fall I pulled up a couple types of kale and an off-type oxheart cabbage and hung them (by the bareroots) in the coldroom to plant out this spring. The plan is to get a kale (any of the 3) to cross with the cabbage to produce a hybrid, that will then be grown out, selected for looks/flavour/days to maturity and stabilized to become a landrace (aka, Future Heirloom) of Vesta Gardens.

Brassica Selection Process

This is a nifty little diagram that shows one process of plant selection. Some others would be for flavour, cold/climate hardiness, and whether they stored well.

I'm looking forward to a great year! We hope you'll join us!
- Deb Krause (+ Juanita, Kristy, Zac & Londyn)