Looking out of the window by my desk, I see snow falling on green grass and that the leaves on the willow thave turned from yellow and to green. We have planted peas, onions, broad beans and radishes. Still, we are holding off with the planting out vegetable plants until the end of May when we get some consistant warm temperatures. We won't planting beans, tomatoes and peppers till June
Our cows and their calves are out to pasture. We have divided the fields into smaller paddocks so we can rotate them every few days. Fortunately, the grass is growing as we were down to our last six bales of hay. This is the time for people to think about ordering hay from a farmer rather than leaving it until late summer and then asking around.
We have our seed potatoes from Henry Ellenberger of Ellenberger Organic Farm in Coe Hill. It is a special area for growing organic seed potatoes as there are few diseases. Although, Henry is down to the bottom of the barrel, you can still find his organic seed potatoes at The Village Green, home of Terra Edibles, in Foxboro. Jeff Grimson of J. Grimson Farms near Stockdale says he has nearly finished planting his potato crop. He also sell vegetables at his farm later in the season.
Many of the vegetable growers who sell shares in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are fully committed. One has to remember they only have so much time and labour and can't produce more than they have planned for. The highly skilled Mexican agricultural professionals have arrived, and are in quarantine. This means they can't get into the fields yet. Sue Vanden Bosch of Willow Creek Farms has her family working to protect the asparagus shoots from the late frosts. She will work with her two Mexicans who have worked with her for the past 16 summers to provide vegetables for her three outlets, one at the farm at 1442 Frankford Road, one in the car park at the former Sidney Township offices at Tuckers Corner, and one at Foxboro in Highway 62.
Jenn Nash and her brother Joel opened Prosperity Acres for Mother Day on Harmony Road in Tyendinaga. They are open at weekends selling cold-tolerant plants in hanging baskets, and pansy bowls. They will have vegetable plants and herbs too. Benita Glover at The Garden Network in Stockdale is open following strict social distancing rules for annuals and perennials for your garden .
Karyn Wright of The Village Green, has herbs, tomato and vegetables plants, but she thinks you should keep the seedling indoors for a bit longer before planting out. Don't rush out and plant your seedling and herbs until the soil warms up, and the weather is more stable.
Irene Bemister & Stan Saich of Heirloom Edibles in Tyendinaga also have vegetable seedlings for sale. Later on they will have their CSA boxes, bulk vegetables, and honey.
It is the season to plant trees, but do not wait too long as the leaves are coming out. Beate Heissler of Natural Themes Farm at Stockdale has her stall is open at weekends selling trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, and frost-hardy vegetables and herb plants.
Golden Bough Tree Farm in Marlbank is open for you to pick up your online order. They grow all their trees and shrubs from seed, and have been doing so for almost 50 years. It is a magical place to visit. All being well, the new nursery manager Blair Richards-Koeslag hopes to lead some walks and demonstrations later in the summer at Golden Bough Tree Farm.
Melvin Weber and his family at Sunny Slope Market on the Foxboro Frankford Road has vegetable plants. Melvin also has Cackellac Chicken Tractors for sale.
Dahlia May Flower Farm has an online store, and you can call or email with your order for flowers and vegetable plants.
The first crop of the season is asparagus and it is just about ready especially as it warms up. Ann Van der Hayden and her family at Wooler Dale Farm has CSA shares this year and will sell from the farm gate. They are replanting some very large old asparagus crowns this year. Their crop is ready earlier than further north.
If you want to learn more about growing vegetables, do ask the producers questions. The Earth Haven Learning Centre has an extensive collection of books in the online store. There are books in the store about permaculture and biodynamic growing, as well as the annual planting calendar and much more. Kathryn Aunger, her son Aric and their interns at Earth Haven Farm will sell vegetables and soft fruit from the farm this year, as well as craft items. They have raspberry canes and vegetable plants for sale now. This year Kathryn says they are focusing on feeding the local community rather than driving to Toronto farmer's markets each week.
Kailey Bosch of Melrose Market Garden is another who is planning a farm gate stall this summer. She has vegetable plants for sale and hopes to run online education sessions Elly Finlayson of Railway Creek Farm in Cooper grows garlic as her main crop, but this year she is growing vegetables for her friends and neighbours.
Paul Stewart and his partner Shira Katzberg of Footsteps Organics usually take their organic vegetables to farmer's markets in Toronto, this year they have shifted their business model to selling CSA shares and monthly vegetable boxes. Jenny Cook is another vegetable grower who is selling locally this year. Her farm Knuckle Down Farm is on Anderson Island Road by the Trent River.
If you can't find a CSA, many vegetable growers will have farm gate stalls in the summer. Find out more about the hard-working vegetable growers in Hastings County. Looking at the map on harvesthastings.ca, you can see they are well distributed. You should be able to find a grower within a few km. of your home.
Click on the links and you wil go to the farmer's Harvest Hastings profiles where you can find out more about them and see how to contact them and order their products.