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Riverglen Biodynamic Farm news archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

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Wind, rain and teeth

Greetings veggie lovers! We got rain! Sorry for all of you who had outdoor weekend plans, but I gotta tell ya we all really enjoyed vegging out on the couch, listening to the rain battering outside. The rain gauge registered 80mm over the weekend, which means we will be seeing alot of growth out there.

And it’s about time. This has been the 2nd driest growing season in eastern Ontario on record, and needless to say the crops have been suffering for it. It’s one thing in the garden, where we can pump irrigation all we want and keep things growing, but the pastures, all the newly planted trees and berries, the perennials, herbs and fruit trees took a pretty big hit. We may not get plums for the second year in a row… Yikes!

That doesn’t stop us from putting food on the table, however! With a mixed farm like we have here, there’s always something good to eat. We’ve been enjoying light fare like wraps, salads, Vietnamese bun and stir fries with our tender greens and early root crops.

Veggie Update

Alright, it looks like everyone’s on board with picking up their veggies and taking them home. Remember to put them in the fridge ASAP so they keep best. Use the crisper (humidity controlled drawer) to protect anything susceptible to wilting. We don’t use any pesticides, fertilizers, sprouting inhibitors or other toxic chemicals on any of our food, and we do give everything a rinse before it gets to you, but it’s good practice to rinse your vegetables before you use them.

Lots more greens on the way this week: (salad, parsley, kale, chard) along with our juicy summer onions. Both the white and red onions can be eaten raw from top to bottom, including the green tops. Of course you can cook them lightly as well and add them to, well… Honestly I can’t really think of a meal that doesn’t involve onions! Am I right?

We’re happy to offer a big helping of summer squash this week. These are great on the grill, steamed, baked, pureed, or sliced into vegan noodles.

Although the crops look quite healthy, they are growing so darned slow inthe drought! My fingers are crossed the red beets will be ready to pick this week.

Oh and peas! Lots more peas! These are snap peas by the way, which means you pluck off the stem and eat the whole thing. But you knew that already 😉

Meat Chicken Update

We had a little scare last week while weeding in the garden on a clear, beautiful day. Although there wasn’t much of a wind to speak of, a gust of hot air started making it’s way down the driveway and, as they regularly do here, shaped itself into a small twister. They usually just blow a little dust and gravel around and are pretty cool to look at. This time, however, the twister veered off the driveway towards our movable chicken coop, the Caquelac, which spontaneously achieved liftoff. It gracefully reached about 20 feet up in the air, slammed back down and began flip and roll over itself, across the pature and through the fence light a big, akward, galvanized steel tumbleweed. Astoundingly there were only two chicken casualties, one fatal, but the Caquelac got worked pretty hard…

You can see the crew in the picture as they quickly reacted to contain the recently evicted birds with temporary fencing. The Caquelac is the white thing on the left, battered and a good 300 feet from its original location. As you can see, it’s not even sort of stormy or windy out. We’ve contacted the X-files for an explanation.

On the plus side, they are all doing quite well and absolutely loving the green pasture. The Nova Freerangers are solid, healthy little birds and I can’t wait to have a taste. We sourced our birds from a small hatchery in Nova Scotia (along with apparently a bunch of other people who read their feature article in Small Farm Canada magazine) and the older couple who operates the hatchery were quite simply overwhelmed by the volume of orders this spring. It seems we were not the only ones happy to find an alternative to the white rock broilers! It also means we received our chicks much later than anticipated, and so they’ll be ready a little later.

have been scheduled for processing on August 10th.
You must pickup your fresh chicken on THURSDAY, AUGUST 11th or SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th.
Egg Update

Bruno gets an honorable mention this week for taking a hit while protecting the laying flock. He’s been fighting off a raccoon for the last couple weeks and getting pretty scratched up in the process. Unfortunately the raccoon did not get the hint, persisted in trying to eat all our hens (and succeeded in getting a few) so we had to step in and put an end to his plans.

We don’t like messing with wildlife, and we take several measures to prevent the need to do so, but when our birds turn up dead and our guard dog is getting hurt we don’t have much choice.

Our little hens are beginning to lay, so egg share members please check your emails for pickup information coming up shortly. Thank you for your patience!

This is a single weblog entry, posted on July 11th, 2016. Comment here »


Pumped for July!

Canada Day weekend is coming up and we’ve got lots of fresh veg to keep your body happy during those long days in the hot sun. You can pick up your supplies from the store this week; we will be open as usual on Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 7pm, as well as Saturday from 9am  to 4pm.

CSA members get:

Lots of greens! Use greens to make light, satisfying and energizing meals during hot weather. Salads can be simple or elaborate, sides or mains. Hardier greens like kale and beet tops can be quickly sautéed or steamed to accompany your favourite meal.

Salad: Mixed baby greens for an instant colourful salad
Lettuce: Emerald Oak and Bergam’s Green frilly lettuce for stuffing burgers and sandwhiches, making wraps, or looking cool on the plate.
Beet tops: Mixed baby beet tops for a delicious sauté, mixed into a salad, or used like spinach.

Kale: Tuesday and Thursday pickups are alternating between curly green and Lacinato black.
Garlic scapes: twirls of joy! These are the flower buds of garlic. Use them like scallions, whole or sliced thin, in simple dishes to get a little garlic flavour.
Green onions: Bunches of young red and green onions, edible from top to bottom.
Radish: Bunches of bright red radishes. Remember radishes are also great when cooked!

This is a single weblog entry, posted on June 29th, 2016. Comment here »


Summer Solstice

Summer is blazing it’s way in this week with lots more sunny, dry weather. Every growing season has its challenges and this year, it’s the lack of rain. It’s seems just about every day the wind is blowing strong, hot and dry. The RVCA has declared drought conditions and irrigation has been keeping the crew on their toes.

But we’re in the best place we could be here in our little glen by the river. Sitting on rich, clay soil we can relax a little, confident that our garden will hold the scarce our vegetables need to grow. Luckily, only one bed of turnips and one bed of spinach suffered from heat exhaustion and keeled over. Unfortunately, they were scheduled for our first baskets, which a puts a fair dent in our early vegetable selection, but everything else is puttering along and doing fine.

All in all, 2016 is off to a great start. The CSA is sold out, the crew is solid, and the sun is shining. We hope you’ll notice the effort we’ve put into the farmstore area this spring, in an effort to make your visits here more pleasurable.

Since we’ve signed our new lease and got our finances back in order, the idea of settling in and making things a bit more cozy has been on the forefront of our planning strategy. In any case, the pullets sure like it that I mow the lawn!

A bunch of email notifications have gone out for the various weekly vegetable boxes starting, but if you still have any questions, be sure to get in touch so we can sort it out.

Thanks, and see you soon!

This is a single weblog entry, posted on June 21st, 2016. Comment here »


Extended Season Vegetable Pickup Starts This Week!!

Extended Season Vegetable Pickup Starts This Week!!

If you registered for the extended vegetable season, grab your shopping basket and make your way to your pickup location for your very first week of spring veggies!

Regular Season Vegetable Pickup Starts Next Week!!

If you registered for the regular vegetable season, your pickup starts on either Tuesday, June 21st or Thursday, June 23rd.

If you can’t remember whether you registered for a regular or extended season, or if you can’t remember your pickup location, or whether you pickup on Tuesdays or Thursdays, just send us an email and we’ll get that confirmed for you.

How to Pickup your Vegetables:

-Bring a bag, box, basket or bin with you to take your veggies home
-Make your way to your pickup location between 4pm and 7pm
-Park in a manner that other vehicles can also park and drive past you
-Please leave your pets at home or in the car
-Please keep your children by your side – explore with them!
-At our Westboro location, follow the driveway to the backyard
-Check your name on the list under the appropriate date
-Follow pickup instructions – usually one portion from each bin
-Take your vegetables home and into the refrigerator, rinse and enjoy!!

Spring greens

We’re starting the season with a small offering of spring vegetables, including salad, green onions and radishes. Your weekly bounty will get bigger each week as more and more vegetables ripen in the garden!


All of our CSA options are now sold out! All the chickens have been reserved, the beef shares are all taken, and the vegetable shares are all booked up too. For those who didn’t get to register in time, please take the time to visit the farm store this summer – We will have a selection of vegetables available for purchase. There will be beef available by the cut starting end of September, and honey towards the end of August.

Registration for 2017 CSA options will start this fall, so make sure to read our newsletter, and/or check in to our website and Facebook page.

Thanks, and see you soon!

This is a single weblog entry, posted on June 14th, 2016. Comment here »


Hot News for a Hot Spring

We’re Open!!

Our first customers of the season got to take home bags of salad mix, spinach and crisp bunches of radishes on Saturday. We’ve been taking advantage of all the sunny weather this spring and doing a bang up job prepping the soil using our broadfork, compost a

nd tiller and our efforts have been paid off with an early taste of greens. Of course lots more tasty veggies to follow in the next few weeks as different crops start maturing!

For those who purchased weekly vegetables through our CSA, you can expect your first bounty the week of June 20th. Soon! Those of you who chose the extended season option start a week earlier. Sooner! There are only 8 spots left in our vegetable CSA for 2016. Help out Ottawa’s thriving new, local agriculture movement by helping us fill up our vegetable CSA by the end of Local Food Week, June 6th to 12th!

There is:
-1 spot left for farm pickup on Tuesday
-2 spots left for Westboro pickup on Tuesday
-5 spots left for farm pickup on Thursday

There are also still opportunities to purchase bulk beef shares. Our cattle arrived just last week and are enjoying the green pasture. They’re gradually getting used to their new surroundings and by our comings and goings.

There is an increasing amount of attention to the fact that conventional beef farming is a major contributor to climate degeneration, as well being questionable to one’s health. Our regenerative agriculture practices, on contrary, allow a healthy perennial ecology to develop in our pastures, which not only plays a role in sequestering carbon, but provides the best possible nutrition and living environment for our cattle, as well as wildlife.

We’re happy to provide an alternate  source of beef which respects animals, and nurtures both a healthy body and healthy environment.

See you soon!

This is a single weblog entry, posted on May 30th, 2016. Comment here »