This week in the pack, we expect to have carrots, potatoes, herbs, small salad mix, sweet pepper, broccoli or cabbage, squash, brussels sprouts, red meat radish, and pears or apples. The fruit is from Danny Davison’s Fair Acre Farm in Falmouth and is low or no spray. The pears are Bosc, and the apples are Ambrosia.
I must jump in here and tell the story of Ambrosia apples. These are my ultimate, all-time favourite apple.
In the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, a chance seedling magically appeared among a row of Jonagold apples. The chance seedling flourished into a healthy apple tree, and in the early 1990s, it bore its first fruit. The apples were so attractive and delicious, that pickers working in the orchard stripped the sapling clean and ate all the fruit. The Mennell family, who owned the orchard, decided to produce more of the fruit, swearing the pickers to secrecy until they had enough plant material to corner the market. The resulting apples were as perfect in appearance and taste as the apples from the original mother tree. Wilfrid Mennell named the bi-coloured apple “Ambrosia”, which in Greek mythology means “food of the gods”. This apple is also particularly good for organic production because it is so resistant to disease.
This week on the farm, the crew was very busy harvesting. The cold room is filling up, and the root crop washer built by Isaac Villeneuve in NB was brought down from the original wash shed on the hill to its permanent digs in the basement wash shed, and put to use. David gave a short training session for the crew on how to use it.
It sure saves a LOT of time!
On Tuesday David made the long trip to the Island of Arichat in Cape Breton with Sean Saunders (one of the apprentices at Bethany) to pick up lobster bins for our farm and for Bethany Garden. It was an outrageous load, a long trip, and a gorgeous day. Near the end of the trip David had to get some diesel fuel because he ran out of veggie oil. The fuel cost was only $30. Way to go Gertie, Sean, and David! An exceptional team.
The bins are colourful and cheerful, as well as sturdy, large, and stackable. It is amazing what you can get for free. Once we got the cool weather ratio for veggie oil/diesel figured out, David and I went on a ‘leaf date’. Talking about free things, we pick up bagged leaves on the way home from church, or meetings, or doing errands. The hens and cattle love leaf bedding!
Bruce started to move the hoop houses off the summer crops and on to the winter greens. That means the end of tomatoes and basil. Eggplants will hang on for a little bit. But this really helps keep the greens going until the end of December. The hoop houses also help us start with greens very early in the spring too. Bruce, who has a Newfoundland heritage, is excellent at moving and lacing up these hoop houses. Rope handling is like second nature to him.
Nadege got in there and collected the last tomatoes. She is showing great promise as a homesteader. She said: “I’m turning into my mother!” When her mother, who is originally Haitian visited, she gathered great quantities of eggplant to take home with her to the Bahamas. Yay Mama Toussaint! We have to get her to share a few of her eggplant recipes…
Here are a few more photos from this last week on the farm.
See you all soon!
Jen, David, Bruce, Marshall, Benjamin, Lori, and Nadege