It’s been a rollercoaster ride this spring, especially considering all our options for selling! We wanted to give you an update on where we’re at right now. And let you know the details of our upcoming Organic Plant Sale.
So far, this spring, we’ve been selling through the Dieppe Market’s vitual/drive-through market. It’s been going well – we’ve been bringing veggies, herbs, flowers, garden seeds and seedlings.
The way it works is:
- Customers pre-order from Monday at noon until Wednesday at 5 pm.
- On Thursday, we harvest and package everyone’s orders.
- On Friday, at the market, there is an assembly line of vendors packing each customer’s order.
- Once they get to the end of the line, the boxes are checked to ensure everything is in order.
- And then it’s popped into the trunk of each vehicle as they appear in the drive-through.
Starting Friday (June 5th), the market will be doing the drive-though plus open to customers.
The vendors who are there will be limited (basically farm and food products – not crafts). Non-shopping “browsers” won’t be allowed inside. (So basically you’d need to have pre-ordered through the Dieppe Market virtual store or a vendors own online store. Or alternatively, you can buy “market dollars” at the door and use those to shop. (It’s hard to say whether we’ll be bringing much extra this week. We’ll have to see how demand goes. It would be a shame to bring a bunch of extras and have nobody come to buy them).
Organic Plant Sale
Our annual Organic Plant Sale at La Bikery has been a success every year. We love partnering with La Bikery because we share so many values.
This year the Organic Plant Sale will be happening on Sunday, June 7th from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
Our farm and our friends at Alva Farm will be there with organic seedlings for your garden.
Interest in gardening and buying garden seeds and seedlings has exploded this year! Many seed companies have had to stop selling because there were too many orders.
I think gardening is a great response to the uncertainty that is being felt. It offers a sense of food security, supports our collective health, and is beneficial for pollinators (if flowers are grown too) which are also so necessary for our local food security.
Details: Organic Plant Sale and Bike Parts Sale
Where: La Bikery, 120 Assomption Blvd., Moncton, NB.
When: Sunday, June 8th from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
How: We will be outside in the parking lot as usual, with lots of space. We ask that you help us maintain social distance between fellow customers while shopping for your plants.
It would be helpful if you brought boxes or trays to carry your plants home in.
We will be accepting cash. Please try to bring sufficient change to reduce cash handling though we will also have change on hand to reduce repeat handling of cash.
What: We’re bringing:
- lots of different varieties of tomato plants,
- swiss chard,
- kale 4 packs (4 different types of kale – 2 red, 1 green, and 1 green and white),
- basil (green, purple, and holy basil/Tulsi)
- stinging nettles,
- lemon balm,
- rose-scented geranium,
- cut flower mix packs,
- swamp milkweed
Check out the blog post we’ve written on tips for caring for your tomato seedlings once you get them home.
Our own online store:
There is a pilot project happening in NS for farms to create online stores with a platform called Local Line.
We applied and were accepted for this pilot project and are in the process of creating our own online store.
Since we’ve been using the Dieppe Market’s online store and have been happy with it for those sales, it’s likely that we’ll use our own online store for other sales (like for Nova Scotians who can’t get to the Dieppe Market while the border is closed), so keep your eye open for that.
How to keep in touch:
Earlier this spring, we created 2 ways for our customers to quickly hear what we’re up to and how they can shop with us.
Those are the best places to get the most up-to-date info from us.
Advocate Harbour – Wild Caraway
The Wild Caraway restaurant in Advocate Harbour currently has pick-up meals and we are selling them produce for those. But they have also opened up to their community to order “surprise produce bags” from our farm each week (we put a mix of what’s fresh and beautiful from the farm) that they will pick up from us and their community members can get. The owners/chefs at Wild Caraway have been doing this for years for their staff, and it’s been successful, so this year they opened it up for other community members as a service.
Check out the details in the post above or head to their facebook page.
Codiac Organics Farm Stand
Last Friday, we delivered extra produce to the farm stand at Codiac Organics in Moncton. I’m not 100% sure if we’ll be able to bring produce there every week, but we’ll do our best to mention it through Facebook when we do. It’s a really great farm stand on an organic urban farm – if you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should! Fran and Mark Day, who own and operate the farm, are great people. And the store often smells of fermenting black garlic, which I adore!
Early this spring, we were so conflicted about the flowers we were planting – we were wondering how they would sell and what was going to happen to the weddings we had promised to grow flowers for (through our DIY Bulk Bucket program).
Growing crops, especially flower crops that take a while from seed to bloom, take a lot of planning.
They’re not just something we can turn on and off as the demand changes.
- We order tulip bulbs for the next year in June.
- Flower seeds are ordered in September (a few months before we order vegetable seeds).
- We plant biennial flowers in June to bloom the following year.
- We start planting annual flowers in February.
So, in March, we were definitely feeling uncertain.
But when we asked people, they told us that flowers fed their spirits and connected them with nature, even if they were stuck working indoors.
Flowers grown locally also connected them to the seasons.
Just like veggies, flowers have a season, and so each bouquet we make is a showcase of that particular week.
Unlike many of the bouquets from grocery stores or flower shops that are imported and grown in climate-controlled greenhouses close to the equator where day-length remains similar through the year, our bouquets from week to week are always changing and never the same.
I LOVE spring flowers – all the different types of tulips we grow, the heirloom narcissus, and this year – a few spring flowers we’ve never grown before: anemones, ranunculus, and Icelandic Poppies.
Spring flowers are more expensive for us to grow generally because many of them grow from bulbs (which are pricier than seeds) or expensive seeds, they need to be started early so they take up more time in the earlier part of our season, and they are grown under a tunnel (the most expensive “real estate” on the farm).
But…they just break our hearts with their beauty.
Jamieson’s General Store in North Shore, NS
This week, for those of you in NS, you can order some of our bouquets through Jamieson’s General Store (which carries lots of great local products!). I don’t know if we’ll have them there every week, but keep your eyes on that online shop!
Other Farm Updates:
As usual, we have a lot of projects happening on the farm that are “invisible” in terms of our weekly farm offerings at the market.
A few examples:
- We just planted a field of high-bush blueberries and haskaps. We won’t start harvesting from them for a number of years, but it’s exciting to envision the future.
- We’re putting up a new tunnel as soon as possible. It’s 20’ wide by 150’ long.
- We’re going to try growing a small plot of barley and corn (for corn meal) this year. We’ll see how it goes.
- We’ve been increasing the medicinal herbs on our farm this season, including Elecampane, Echinacea angustifolia, Chinese Skullcap.
- We’re taking part in 2 national vegetable variety trials this year: one with 7 varieties of rutabaga and one with 6 varieties of red carrots. Both will be fall harvests. If we’re able to have our annual garlic planting party this fall, perhaps we’ll do a taste test at the same time!
- We’re still in the midst of re-siding our home with wood that we’re treating with the shou sugi ban method (burning the exterior). Our purpose for doing this is a) a non-toxic treatment that would decompose after the end of its useful life, b) something that will last the rest of our lifetimes with minimal maintenance, c) its rot-resistant, fire-resistant, and insect-resistant, d) we like the history of its use and that it looks simple. This project is very slow-going for us as we’re trying to do it in the midst of everything else….but our siding really needs to be redone!