Things at the farm are starting to pick up speed in preparation for the coming growing season.
As mentioned in January’s blog, we will be growing five acres of the Melina variety of flax this year along with small test plots of newer types. Denise has been busy figuring out the correct way to bring our seeds into the country. We will be ordering our seeds through a certified seed importer.
Since we are increasing our production levels, we are going to invest in a second-hand grubber. A grubber is a machine that will pull the flax plant out of the ground and place it, in an organised manner, on the ground. Denise is researching the necessary procedure to ship a piece of equipment to Canada from the European Union.
We have been working with Belfast Mini Mills, a manufacturer of processing equipment for animal fibres, to see if their equipment can process our short line linen fibres. Testing has yielded positive results! This past week, Jeff and Peter, from Belfast Mini Mills, delivered a separator and carder. Justine and I are working on developing a product from our short line linen. This will enable us to use all of the “waste” fibre from the long line processing we do.We are excited to be getting close to have product available for sale.
Our flax processing room has been set up and now contains three pieces of equipment. We have begun testing on our scutching machine with positive results. Construction on our fourth piece of equipment, the hackler, continues. The scutching machine will remove the shive from the fibres while the hackler will combine the linen fibres, and remove any knots and short line linen fibres.
Patricia’s knitting machine is now operational. I am learning how to use the machine to knit dishcloths. It was recommended to me by several machine knitters that I start with wool and then move on to linen.
We have been working with a local graphic designer to develop product labels.
We are excited to announce that we are continuing to work with Shannon at Trusted Clothes. We will be publishing a monthly guest blog to provide an update of life on the farm and where we are at with developing our equipment line.
Finally, we have been working with a group of local wool growers to start a cooperative fibre mill in the Annapolis Valley. Exciting times!
Locally made with Annapolis Valley fruit and organic cane sugar, we now have Fruit Leather from The Humble Burdock Farm available to our members! What started out as a hobby and search for healthy snacking options has turned into a customer favourite for Amanda and her team at The Humble Burdock in Steam Mill, Nova Scotia. Each variety pack comes with a 1.75 oz package of the following flavours;
Berry Blend (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) Blueberry Lemon (Lemon rind & lemon juice) Strawberry Lemon (Lemon rind & Lemon juice) Raspberry
Besides being locally made and delicious, fruit leather is also a very convenient snack with a long (6 month) shelf life, and doesn't require refrigeration until the hot summer weather rolls in. Due to her busy schedule on the farm, Amanda doesn't produce fruit leather from May-November so we'll have for as long as we can but once she's out, you'll have to wait until November! Fair warning. :)
We've added red cabbage (non-organic) to our list of extra goodies available, and we've even taken care of the trimming for you! There are about a bazillion uses for red cabbage, but I (Kim) thought I'd send you all my favourite.
Red Cabbage Rolls. Yes, that's right, cabbage rolls aren't just for the familiar green variety. Red cabbage rolls are equally delicious, and have the added bonus of adding a blaze of colour, bright enough to shake off any mid-winter blues. **To help keep the colour rich and vibrant, add a splash of vinegar to the water when you boil it. The recipe below is using the the standard green cabbage, but I strongly encourage you to give the red a try. Trust me, you will not regret it.
Happy cooking all!
Seaport is closed!!!!! Alert to CSA members. We will deliver your share on Thursday so sorry!!!!! Or they will be on the truck if you can get to Oxford Edgewood between 4:30-5:30.
YWCA - Jem will be there at 3 for 15 minutes. Then he will take the shares inside.
Hawthorne - Jem will be there around 4
St.marks - jill will be there inside the church at around 3:15-3:30-6 please do NOT bring your boxes this week as we do not have a van coming to collect.
Oxford Edgewood and Brunswick St - we appreciate your patience as it may take a few more minutes for Ed to get there today. He is dropping the St Marks shares off first so we hope we have built in enough time.
Everywhere else should be routine.
Good Day Members,
We hope you have dug out from our first Nova Scotia Blizzard of 2016.
The roads are looking better by the hour so we are going to go ahead and deliveries today.
Please keep an eye on facebook or the blog for updates of time delays or changes at the different locations - this is very possible because we are leaving late from the farm.
Many thanks for your support and patience as we get you your food from the farm this week.