Sunday, June 26, 2011

Farm Talk: My 2 Toughest Farming Seasons are...

Hello Farm Folk,

Please help others to learn about what we are up to, and how to get involved: 1. Twitter ( Follow us at @thecuttingveg; 2. Facebook: Like us at, 3. E-mail this newsletter to anyone who may be interested; 4. Share the link to this newsletter ( on Facebook or Twitter. 5. Bring a friend with to the farm or a CSA pick-up. Thanks for helping us to spread the word!

Farm Update:
I started farming in year 2000. My two toughest farming season to date are...2010 and 2011. Last year, it rained almost every day in June, and was scorching hot through much of the summer. While the weather made working conditions challenging, it was the over saturation of our soil in June that made it a disappointing growing season. With the soil over saturated, the plants couldn't "breathe", and their growth was stunted. A great deal of our crops under-produced as a result. This year, the constant rains of the early spring delayed our planting by more than a month, and forced us to secure a 2nd growing location, with sandier soil (which dries more quickly). When we were eventually able to till the soil at our primary growing location in Brampton, the soil was still more wet than ideal. Our soil now looks more like rubble than a place to grow veggies. Waiting any longer was not an option, as it was already 6 weeks too late, and our last possible chance to get started. How our plants do in this rubble-like soil remains to be seen. Some crops, like our zukes and cukes, are looking great, and are likely to produce well. Others, like our recently transplanted tomatoes and eggplant, are alive but not yet thriving. For the not-so-vibrant looking crops, there is still hope. Once they have had a chance to acclimate to their new environment, perhaps they will draw upon our nutrient rich soil, and flourish. Perhaps. We just can't say at this point. We're not alone in our struggle. Farmers throughout Southern Ontario, and other parts of Canada, are saying it's one of the toughest farming seasons in recent memory. Extreme, unpredictable weather conditions are becoming the new norm that farmers must deal with. We continue to hold out hope for an abundant crop this year. We will continue to give our best to provide the best possible environment for our plants to thrive in, with the results being out of control. And we will continue to do our best to provide you with the best local, organic produce that we can grow and outsource. Interestingly, as you can imagine, outsourcing is more challenging this year as well, since other organic farmers are having their own growing troubles.

Volunteer Needs:

We will be welcoming volunteers to the farm this Monday-Friday, and next Sunday, from 6:30am-3:30pm. We will be on the Brampton farm all of these days but Tuesday and Thursday, when we will be at the Sutton farm. If you are interested in helping on the farm this week, please rsvp to, and let her know what day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from Davenport and Bathurst area). Hope to see you on the farm this week!

RECIPE: Roasted Root Veg (from

Several Turnips, diced

Several Sweet Potatoes, diced

Several Beets and/or Parsnips and/or Radishes and/or Carrots, diced

Several Potatoes, diced

1 Large Onion, diced

Zucchini, cut into rounds

Mushrooms, whole

1/2 Cup Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 400F

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with oil. Season with generous amount of salt. It's so delicious, no other seasoning is necessary!

Transfer to a shallow baking pan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until potatoes are cooked through.

That's it for this edition of Farm Talk. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!


P.S. It's not too late to join one of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs in the GTA! More info about how to get this local, organic goodness at

Daniel Hoffmann
Organic Farmer
The Cutting Veg
twitter: @thecuttingveg

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