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Already equinox?

Posted 9/21/2018

The peak summer harvest season this year will be remembered as an extreme one in terms of hot, dry growing conditions. Great for those memorable melons, Sungold tomatoes, of heat-loving crops generally; definitely challenging in terms of irrigation management and maintaining a safe water level in our dug-out pond.

Just after hosting a Cowichan Ag Society Farm tour in early September, the rain began falling, and falling...That means having a good cover crop to protect the soil for the months of heavy precipitation to come are a top priority.

fava beans under seeded with rye and cloverfava beans under seeded with rye and clover

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Holy heat wave--June-bearing strawberries ripening in May!

Posted 5/31/2018

OK, so it is May 31, but who can resist the excitement  over the first strawberry harvest of the year??!

We are loading these pints for the Esquimalt Market this afternoon. Hope to see you there!Strawberry goodness harvested May 31Strawberry goodness harvested May 31

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Hail Spring!

Posted 3/23/2018

Yesterday late afternoon, I was reminded how quickly conditions can change this time of year...beautiful blue skies gave way to a line of clouds and a quick, white-out of a hailstorm. Seemed like rain showers at first, but as I was washing off the potting mix from my hands, the sounds on the windows and roof made it clear that what was falling was not water. We've been enjoying the 12 hours of daylight since the Equinox this week--'we' in this case meaning, I have made myself spokesperson for the chickens, piglets, horses, and emerging seedlings. It is possible my own excitement is layered on top of theirs, but all of us have some kind of greater freedom of movement, a push away from the hunkered down of winter. Despite that icy hail and drop in temperatures, we are moving on in all sorts of springy directions here on the farm. Soon more piglets, our first small herd of cattle, many more seedlings and growing plants, rhubarb, strawberries, and then some!Spring hail storm at Green Fire FarmSpring hail storm at Green Fire Farm

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Mixing it up with Young Agrarians this weekend...

Posted 2/8/2018

Young Agrarians Vancouver Island Winter MixerYoung Agrarians Vancouver Island Winter MixerCome see why YA is so good at mixing business and pleasure....this year's Vancouver Island Winter Mixer promises another round of awesome resources and resourceful people, swapping stories and building skills in business, crop planning, soil health care and more! See you there.

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In the news with the Cowichan Watershed Board...

Posted 1/23/2018

Our neighbour, Nora Arajs, is one of those local heroes who communicates well and focuses her energy and skills on high priority, community engagement projects. Currently, she is with the Cowichan Watershed Board publishing outreach on 'Capture the rain' activities taking place in our valley. Her profile of our efforts here at the farm was featured recently in the Cowichan Citizen: https://www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/community/capture-the-rain-part-1-cowichans-greenfire-farm-picks-pond/

Green Fire Farm irrigation pondGreen Fire Farm irrigation pond

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Celebrating winter solstice - with our mouths full

Posted 12/20/2017

Yesterday early morning we woke to a blanket of wet snow on the farm.

As we celebrate the light of winter, we are thankful and thoughtful leaning in to the long nights.

From all of us here at Green Fire Farm, Happy Winter Solstice and Seasons Greetings to all!
Bentley the pony & his snowy winter breakfastBentley the pony & his snowy winter breakfast

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Winterizing the farm with cover crops

Posted 10/27/2017

Fall cover crops, carrots, beets, pumpkinsFall cover crops, carrots, beets, pumpkinsHere in the Cowichan Valley, the fall weather patterns have been much easier to work with this year as far as getting cover crops in the ground. The vintage seeder you see in the foreground was a big help for getting cover on the larger areas, and our fantastic farm intern did outstanding work manually seeding fall rye and clover between the rows. I left a small patch of sugar pie pumpkins in this field--likely thinking about the possibility of more pie for second Thanksgiving.

Harvesting the fall carrots and beets this October has also been rewarding, with three new places where people can find our produce added in the last few weeks.

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Winterizing tasks on the farm

Posted 10/23/2017

Several farmers market friends and customers these last few weeks have been asking, "what do you do when the markets are over?", so thought I would add a posting that gives a sense of the winterizing activities outside of harvest-wash-pack time....So, here's a really glamorous picture of our irrigation pump on the tailgate of the truck. I've just removed the pump from the pump house as one part *very important* part of winterizing the irrigation system. Winterizing irrigation system Winterizing irrigation system

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What's on the menu for farm-to- table/ Esquimalt Market today?

Posted 10/12/2017

We are harvesting, washing, and packing this morning for the 'Indoors' Esquimalt Farmers Market this afternoon.

This will be our first market with offerings of freshly cut and wrapped frozen pork this fall, and likely one of our last markets of the year with Sungold tomatoes and Totem strawberries.

Come see us and all the other great vendors, including our neighbor, Daniel/AKA Zed Squared Foods, who makes amazing Kim Chi!

 

Farm-to-table and certified organic produce from Green Fire FarmFarm-to-table and certified organic produce from Green Fire Farm

 

 

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Celebration of the equinox, golden beets trials, and more...

Posted 9/21/2017

Very happy fall equinox to all! Seems this is the week the harvest menu has made an almost complete turn to the rich tastes and textures of the fall season. The golden beets pictured here are part of a multi year, collaborative research project  funded by the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, and led in this region by Farm Folk City Folk and the UBC Farm.  After the harvest evaluation yesterday, we harvested and bunched several of the best for our weekly harvest box members. 

We are one of seven participating farm sites trailing golden beets this year, in efforts to learn more about production potential and comparative performance, as well as investing farm field space and our most precious farm resource--time-- to play a small role in helping to build capacity for regional seed production. See previous postings on the BC Seed Trials or head to their website for more info if interested.....
Golden Beets TrialsGolden Beets Trials

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