Hello from the farm crew! It's Chelsea writing to you this week after a brief lapse in our blog updates. With summer upon us, things are busier and more bountiful than ever at the farm. As the heat starts building from 6 am onward, our window for certain tasks gets smaller and smaller, and with double harvest days (market & CSA), our weeks are full to the brim. Fortunately, we've managed to find some time in between to go on off-farm adventures like the 2016 Wild Salmon Caravan which happened this year at the Adams Lake Band Community Hall. It was an amazing celebration of Secwepemc culture and the sacredness of the wild salmon that they and many other First Nations people have relied upon for generations. We were lucky to experience the songs, stories and dances created to honour the salmon and to remind us of why we must work hard to protect them. Like the fish, we also rely on the cold Shuswap waters of the Thompson river to bring nutrients and life to the valley and to keep us from melting on 30 degree days like today. The photo above is the view of Little Shuswap Lake from the Chase bridge just before it turns into the river.
Colour is currently bursting from every corner of the farm and our harvests get more exciting by the week. The top photo is a shot of our first CSA share -- radish, beets, strawberries, Freckles romaine lettuce, snow peas and kale galore! Having new items to put in the share is always exciting as we send our veggies out into the world. This week we pulled our first carrots, purple kohlrabi and golden beets, all of whose colours draw marvel at the market -- especially when paired with our new home made market signs.
Witness the heavens above shining down on our freshly dug carrots!
Beauty is not only found in the vegetables, however! The flowers all over the place have been helping our newly settled bees thrive (see Hollyhox below!). After just two weeks, they had already started a honey flow, and most recently broke off into a new swarm! This occurs when the colony reaches a certain size and splits off to start a new hive, which requires a quick catch and a new home from the beekeepers who want to grow their flock. Props to Tristan who assisted Michelle in guiding the swarm from the buzzing apple tree branch to their new home. We're so happy to have these incredible creatures here and to witness the hard work they do for us and for nature.
That's all for this week! I'll leave you with a couple of my favourite photos of the farm crew this season- cats and babies included :)
Where to begin? In addition to the strawberries peaking this week, we've had to mobilize in a major way to deal with both Tristan's and my absence from the farm this week (unplanned, unintentional, and definitely not for great reasons). The interns have really stepped up and have been running things very well. Much gratitude for their eagerness to help out in this time of need, as well as for the offer of support from so many others. With the events of this week, we came to the conclusion that the farm needs to be simplified. In so doing, we are selling our pigs and some laying hens, in case you know of anyone who is looking for a boar, a sow, and weaners.
Before things took a sideways turn this week, here is what we were all working on.
Tuesday was a busy morning! We had 8 pickers in the strawberry patch. A small dot in the back left is Yaniv direct seeding lettuce, mustard greens, and hakurei (that we missed last week because it was too wet). Out of the frame is Tristan on the tractor, preparing the field for our new strawberries -- 6,000 of them that were transplanted Wednesday morning!
We also got the rest of our tomatoes in the ground and are hoping that the paper mulch will reduce our weeding time down the road. How nice that David could have a bit of a break with Clem. It was such a hot day!!
Here's a better shot of the pea trellis system that went in this year. Picking them will be a dream. And there should be snow peas at market this week -- yippee!
This is from last week, when the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes went into the greenhouse. This little guy was so lucky that he didn't get hit with the shovel!
Photo credit: Martín Bustamante