Somehow for a week that didn’t seem like much happened, there is a lot to share in the update. For those of you who like to skim for relevance, I’ve included subject headings to make it easier to navigate.
News from the week
Normally this is our slow time of year. Fewer hours of daylight mean slower growth, and more chance to spread jobs out to manage the weekly load. So how did we end up harvesting nearly half a greenhouse full of arugula in one day on Friday? Well it all starts back in early September. At the time we were up to our eyeballs in harvest. Tomatoes were in full swing, there was still a surprising amount of irrigation that needed looking after and keeping on top of the crop coming in and going out was already more than we could really manage. We were already running an extra crew on Saturdays to just try to keep on top of the cherry and plum tomatoes. At the same time we were trying to get lettuce and spinach seeded in trays for the greenhouse so they were ready to go when the tomatoes came out. Well that got pushed a bit, so the seedlings were a little behind what would have been ideal. Additionally, we never got the full planned quantity of spinach planted. We tried some direct seeded in the high tunnel, and one bed of the greenhouse, but past results with direct seeded spinach have been variable at best. So all this added up to more space than planned available for arugula, all at once. It grows ok, but it makes for a lot of one thing all at once. Which all leads us back to this week harvesting over 100kg of arugula on Friday. We had to call in extra help for the first time ever in December, but got the job done. Just in time before the Christmas break.
Other than harvesting and packing Arugula, one of the big parts of our week has been season planning for next year. We need the seed orders in soon so they are here in time for the early crops, and so we don’t miss out on varieties that sell out early, but before we can order the seeds we need a plan of what we are growing. This means hours going through a spreadsheet, comparing plans with actual yield and sales numbers from this year’s harvest and market records, and tweaking quantities up and down as seems to make sense. We’ve made it almost all the way to the end of the alphabet, so soon we can move on to the seed orders.
On Thursday, in spite of less than ideal weather, we had a good time at the Dufferin Grove craft market with our wool products. If you didn’t make it through the freezing rain last week, you still have one more chance this Thursday to shop before Christmas.
We’ve been really enjoying the winter continuation of the Dufferin Grove market and all the support we’ve been getting from customers. So it is with some sadness that we say this week is the last. We are still working on plans for the new year, but it will likely involve some form of pickup point or delivery option, possibly collaborating with one or more other vendor to bring additional product range. So stay tuned for that. We should hopefully have news to share in our first newsletter of 2023!
CSA this Week
Lettuce, Arugula, Carrots, Potatoes, Parsnips, and Delicatta Squash
Reminder that after Thursday we are taking the next two weeks off. The Stop’s Market is back on January 7th, Montgomery’s Inn is back on the 11th. CSA will also be starting back up on the 11th. We still haven’t confirmed a schedule for our Duffern people, but will let you know once we know.
Last Friday was Hayley’s last day since she is going back to prepare for the upcoming season trying to restart their market garden with her partner. So we officially have an opening for pack house lead. For now, Dylan and I will be doing our best to cover the gap, but it would be good to have someone in place well before the spring rush when we need to be applying our focus to the field. So if you know someone who want’s a career in Agriculture and has strong organizational skills send them our way! In the job market these days word of mouth seems to be about the only way we are hiring!
Well thats about it for this week. We’ll be celebrating Christmas, but no matter what you celebrate this holiday season, I hope you find Joy, and connection with the people who are important to you. Since we will be off, there will be no update next week, so this is the last update for 2022.
See you in the New Year!
Nathan and Aleta Klassen