News

Introducing Kitchen Notes, a page on creative cooking by Catherine Mah. When we asked our Veggie Coop members to send in recipes and pictures, Cathy responded with several ideas for using the vegetables in her weekly vegetable bag, along with pictures. She explained that she uses ideas from several sources and keeps her own Kitchen Notes. What great energy and inspiration for the website! Cathy has agreed to writing a regular “column” for the website. Click on Kitchen Notes and read about onions, her introductory column. Don’t hesitate to email us to provide feed-back for this and other website adventures.


ORGANIC FARM TRANSITIONING TO ECO-CERT CANADA

Jessica Fogarty, an Organic Inspector for ECO-CERT CANADA was at the farm for her first visit on Sunday, August 30th as part of the farm’s organic certification process. She was also on her way to visit a blueberry processing plant in Indian Bay. First she reviewed The Organic Farm’s log and binder with Mike Rabinowitz, Co-Owner and Alice Nossereau, Administrative Manager. Maintaining the log is the most challenging part of the certification. The evidence presented for certification includes but is not limited to: farm map and crop rotation records, evidence of seed search for organic and untreated seeds with sample seed packages, soil inputs for each garden and greenhouse, sources of organic inputs, with bag labels or letters to verify along with harvest and sales record to ensure traceability. Following this, Mike and Jessica had a walk-a-bout of the various gardens, greenhouses and irrigation systems, including the irrigation and water sources for the fields and greenhouses.


THIS SEASON WE HAVE MORE TROMBONCINO THAN ANY OTHER SEASON

To learn more about this unusual and versatile squash, use this link.


WE SUPPORT FRESH AND LOCAL!

Because the Organic Farm pops up so easily on Google, we are often the first contact for someone looking for organic food, especially people planning to move into the province. This may include looking for range free eggs and chickens as well as pork, beef or lamb. Imagine their surprise when they learn that unlike British Columbia, Ontario and the other Atlantic provinces, local, organic food is relatively non-existent in Newfoundland. When I explain that the food labeled as organic is likely to be imported from out of province, they find it hard to believe. However, I go on to explain that Newfoundland and Labrador does have wonderful fresh and local food in various regions of the province, including Labrador, and that several farmers are converting more to what is termed naturally grown or naturally raised – raised without herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

The best approach is to talk with farmers themselves about the particulars of their production practices. Here is the link to the “fresh and local” guide to the Avalon Peninsula (http://avalonfresh.ca/) as well as a PDF format map of locations in the Avalon.


SEASON IS WINDING DOWN!

Onions, potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes are still available for another few weeks. The peppers and eggplant have been less productive but are coming in somewhat in the Fall sun. Last season, we had a half dozen wheelbarrows of winter squash and pumpkin, taking two days to pick, clean and sort; enough for all 75 members of the Veggie Coop to have a winter squash, pumpkin or both in October. This year, it is slim pickings as my Dad would say. Mike, Owner/Manager thinks he know why we had a crop failure in that particular garden and says it is sometimes the only way to learn.

What else?

The crops that tolerate colder weather – kale, chard, lettuce, herbs, etc. should be available over the winter as we re-seed greenhouses with winter crops. Also crops grown in the sprout room (sprouts, pea shoots, micro-greens and wheatgrass) will be available throughout the winter. We then start up again in March with a Spring crop.

BOTTOM LINE – STAY TUNED. IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER!