Now that we are over some of the major challenges of this winter we are looking forward to spring.  The itch is on for it to come and get out in the fields, and more time in the greenhouses.  We have had a lot of interest in the CSA and veggie box programs.  We have had requests for another 3 veggie box pickup locations on top of the two we already have, and the two CSA pickup locations.    We have built the veggie box program to be a build your own box at pickup so that you have some choice in what you want, with keeping administration on the low end for us. 

The hens production is up.  Last year at this time we had a 2 week waiting list for eggs, this year we seem to be ahead and always have about a 2 day supply on hand.  We are still getting through the eggs, which is nice.  The mix up last spring giving us more hens than we expected (but still staying under our allowable amount) was a blessing in the end.  It has been extra work, costs and of course challenges with more than doubling the number of hens but the hard work is paying off now.  So if anyone is looking for some farm fresh eggs let us know.  We do have others that meet us at veggie boxes for just eggs, and some people purchase additional eggs as well.  In the off weeks of veggie boxes we are still running to town at least one day a week and are meeting people there and doing deliveries of eggs then.

I would like to think we had all the seed orders places early this year but I don’t think so.  We might have, and seed catalogues were just slow coming in the mail this year?   We had more than half the order placed before Christmas, and the seeds from that order will be here by mid-February.  Most of the others orders are shipped, or will be shipped shortly.  With placing orders early this allows for time to find out what seeds had crop failures and what seeds are back ordered so we can find another supplier or change the variety we had originally planned on purchasing if needed.  We have a couple changes this year, but not near as many as previous years.  We are looking forward to getting everything started. 

 

We are working with a neighbor this year and have a little extra bit of land.  It used to be in potatoes but hasn’t been planted with anything for the last 4-5 years due to the size of it.  It is a small plot for large equipment, but more than large enough for us. 

 

We have our strawberry and asparagus on order.  We are increasing the amount of strawberries we have as we continue to grow the farm client base each year.  We have tried to grow at a manageable pace.

 
The "new" greenhouse rebuilt and ready for seedlings, once the snow melts.

We ran out of greenhouse space this past fall.  With the increasing popularity of winter boxes and fresh greens we used the greenhouse that we had currently used for seedlings for production.  We did this last year as well.  We pushed our limits last spring and worked around it.  It was challenging.  This past year a neighbor offered us his greenhouse, if we disassembled it, and moved it.  It did not have any plastic with it, and the end walls were not in good shape.  We decided we could use it and took on the extra project this fall. 

As you may have seen on Facebook, in the Guardian or heard on CBC the greenhouse came down in one of our first storms of the winter on December 4th.  The high winds came from the north and since we weren’t finished constructing it we weren’t sure how it was going to work out.    We woke up that morning and it was down.

It was a little frustrating to see all that hard work go to waste but we were able to salvage it.  We rebuilt it as we awaited for the plastic to arrive.  The plastic arrived with holes in it.  It seemed to be one thing after another.  Then the snow piled up.  We figured we would never get the opportunity to get plastic on it in time for seedlings.  Once we got the snow all removed off the tunnels and greenhouses and repairs done we kept on eye on the weather for the wind speeds. 

The winds were going to be low for 2 days, before we got a lot of rain.  We decided we best take our chances and get working.  It started with another part day of snow removal as we cleaned out all the way around the greenhouse for putting plastic on.  We had everything in place and ready to go for the Saturday morning.

We set the alarm and planned to be outside putting plastic on before the sun was up when the winds usually pick up.  We even started a contest to see who could guess how long it would take for the snow to melt within the greenhouse.  It has been a week, and there is still a lot of snow out there.  We haven’t had a lot of sunshine to help warm the greenhouse up to melt it all.

With getting plastic on we had to get some electrical ran for the blower fan and we are also preparing to run water into it in the spring.  We do have our work cut out for us once the ground thaws and snow melts.  We have to build shelving for the seedling trays. 

We successfully got the plastic on before 9am on the Saturday, and if I can say I think it is the best plastic job we have ever done.  The extra set of hands from Olivia went a long way.  We got it done just in time as well as the winds started to pick up. 

We still have lots to do this winter/spring as we prepare for the upcoming season.  We have irrigation to install in the greenhouses, and get set up in the field in the spring.  We are going to try and complete a roadside stand to put up off of the driveway off of Kinkora road, and many more jobs.  We have lots of little repairs to do, and lots of prep work.  I am sure you know that there isn’t any lack of work for us.