Our Gardens

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Stay tuned. This page will grow along with the plants, but if you want to see what these plants will produce for us in 2019, click on these links: Tomatoes , Sweet & Hot Peppers , Egg Plants   , Summer & Winter Squash

Feb 3, 2019: This is the first little green elbow to push out of the soil. It doesn’t look like much, but it is filled with promise of the season to come.  For me, it is a magical time. A time of creation that fills me with hope and love as the plants start and grow.
Feb  21 – Planted cherry tomatoes, and over the next two weeks will seed approximately 170 different varieties of tomato for your enjoyment this summer. Stay tuned…
Feb 26 – Those little elbows have filled out and are being transplanted.

March 14 – Cross your fingers. Today we seeded the “Chinese Pink Celery,” and our first crop of Basil… ohhh I can almost taste them now. 🙂
April 2nd – April 5 We transplanted all the indeterminate tomatoes… so many that we are busting at the seams. We were able to creatively use every bit of lighted space available to keep them safe until it’s warm enough to transfer them to the greenhouse.  This ongoing cold weather is starting to worry me…

Those “Chinese Pink Celery” plants are now 2 long trays of green fluff. I must admit they are rather fussy little things, but keep those fingers crossed.
April 6 – Next stage – Starting the determinate varieties of Tomato. For those of you who do not know the difference, indeterminate varieties are a vine that can grow up to 30 feet long and require tall stakes. Determinate varieties are shorter bush types that do not require pruning. They will be growing in our field, rather than the gardens at the house.
April 17 – Finally, we are able to move the plants out to the greenhouse. Can’t wait till Steve sets up the second one so we can expand our greenery

May 12 We’ve been too busy playing catch up in the gardens to post for a while. Now that the weather seems to have sorted it out we are back in action. The garlic crop looks promising down at the family farm. The mulch and structures are all in place at the home garden. Peas, carrots, beets, spinach & Swiss chard, Kale, Brocolinni, Brussel sprouts & Chinese pink celery are all in the ground. Down at Maple Hill (our Moodie location), onions, cabbages & potatoes are all in, and this weekend we finished adding the compost. Composting is an important part of our farming practice – soil health. We feed our gardens with tons of compost each year to keep it alive. In return, the soil nurtures our plants and fills them with maximum nutrients and vitality when we consume them.  We compost the house gardens each the fall, and our lot at Maple Hill Farms each spring.

To see previous years of development, check out our gallery

We take pride in our gardens and invite you to wander through the ones here at the house

It is said that “We should eat vegetables of all colors to get the best nutritional value.” In keeping with this philosophy, we are proud to offer produce in all spectrum’s of the rainbow. It is also our choice not to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, choosing instead to use a mixture of compost and elbow grease to nurture healthy, plants filled with vitality.

In 2018 we had a very tasty year with 150 varieties of Tomatoes (most of them heritage.) In 2019 we have increased that number to approximately 170, which includes regular big red beefsteaks for the sandwich lovers, along with several new oxhearts + determinate Italian varieties to meet the demand for canning tomatoes.

New vegetables for 2019: Include beets, carrots, pink Chinese celery, brocolinni, spinach & Swiss chard along with 4 varieties of cabbage. Dry cooking beans (kidney, black, saddle, soldier & pink lady) to be harvested late in the season. These legumes (pulses) will be available all winter for use in soups, chili or baked beans. We have also partnered up with Maple Hill Farms to provide Sorghum (a tasty, high protein, gluten free grain), and a few other surprises.

Returning vegetables for 2019: Include 6 types Egg Plants + 2 new ones, 15 varieties of Sweet Peppers, 10 types of Hot Peppers, Peas & Beans, Kale, Brussel Sprouts, and so many Summer & Winter squashes it will make your eyes pop. 8 Varieties of potato. Fresh Garlic & Herbs which includes Basil, Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Winter Savory, Rosemary,  Mint, Chive and Lavage and Horseradish (which should be ready for harvest this year.)

In fruit we have Rhubarb, Black Raspberries, Yellow Raspberries & Black Berries.

It’s a lot of produce, and it will be a handful to manage. For the vegetables not listed, we depend on a network of local farms to fill in the gaps. We bring in local Strawberries from the beginning of June all the way to October, Red Raspberries from July to September, as well as Wild & Domestic Blueberries from July to September. We also have a driver that goes to the Niagara Region 3 times per week to bring back tree-ripened fruits as they come into season: Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, and Pears. Corn starts the middle of July and is brought in fresh-picked each morning until the first hard frost. There is an organic grower who provides Carrots & Beets, and a regular supply of Onions, Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and all the salad fixings you could imagine throughout the entire growing season.