2015 Ste-Anne Garlic Festival – August 22, 2015

Garlic Fest Poster Final En

This weekend is the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue garlic festival.

I’m always excited about the festival but I’m extra excited for this one because we’ve got two new workshops on the slate.

One of those workshops is all about Black Garlic with Andrew Craig from Major Craig’s. What is Black Garlic? Well come on out to the workshop to find out!

The second new workshop is a garlic tasting I’m leading. During the session I will introduce and describe a number of different garlic horticultural groups. We will sample 4 groups raw and 3 groups roasted. I’ve chosen groups that are quite distinct one from the other to really highlight the differences.

You can get all the details about the festival here: http://steannegarlicfestival.wordpress.com/ or on Facebook

If you plan on coming and want to invite your friends, you can share our Facebook event.

Now I’ve got to get back to my garlic toothbrush and keep cleaning!

Saving Purslane Seed

In the last 3 years, Golden Purslane has become an on farm favorite salad green. It has a juicy refreshing taste with a sour edge that livens up a salad.

Last year we also grew a seed crop.

1 Purslane

Golden Purslane produces small yellow flowers that only last a short time. (I have yet to catch them in picture.) They then form a small green fruit in the center of the leaves. After a bit you can peel off the cap of this fruit to find some small black seed.

I was told that this is the perfect time to pull purslane plants for seed. So we did.

2 Harvesting Purslane

We cut the whole plants and packed them into bins to bring them back to the  barn.

3 Purslane bins

The succulent plants were still juicy and delicious at this point.

4 Post Harvest Purslane

We spread the plants out in a single layer on a tarp and added a few fans for ventilation.

5 Purslane Seeds Maturing

Over the next month the fruit dried up and opened to reveal thousands of small shiny black seeds.

6 Purslane Wilting

The plants stayed succulent for quite a while. After 4-5 weeks the stems started to shrivel. Around that time most of the fruit had opened.

7 Purslane Bits

We took the plants outside and shook them over a big tarp. The seed easily shattered. We tossed the green plants aside and collected the dried chaff and seeds.

8 Screening Purslane Seeds

At this point we proceeded as normal to clean the seed with screens and fans. These plants were full of seed! (Such as we did with this Brassica seed.)

Thanks to Frank Morton and Tom Stearns who told me I should pull these plants. They were right.

Identifying Diseases & Pests

A lot of things try to chomp, munch, consume, and destroy our crops. Before you can figure out what to do, it’s good to know what the problem is!

My favorite reference on the subject is Diseases and Pests of Vegetable Crops in Canada, which is available as a print book. But it is also now available online for free! You can find it here.

Even though Canada is in the title, most of these diseases and pests do not respect the borders! This book is great for all veggie growers.

I hope your summers are going well, and that you don’t need this kind of book too much.

Tourne-Sol Open House on Sunday 5 July, 2015

Our annual open house is coming up. The full details are below. But one thing I’ll point out to all my seedy readers is that I will be giving seed and garlic tours during the event!

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 Full Details

Get out your calendars and reserve Sunday July 5th for our Open House. This also happens to be Tourne-Sol’s 10th anniversary celebration so we’re going all out! There will be garden tours, workshops, food and maybe live music. Fun and activities for adults and kids!

Date: Sunday July 5th, 2015

Address: At our farm! 1025 ch. St-Dominique, Les Cèdres, QC, J7T 1P5.

Price: Free!!! (Pulled pork and veggie dogs are for sale)

Rain Date: No rain date. We’re going to have this event rain or shine. We will have tents to gather under in case of wet weather.

Share the event on FACEBOOK

 

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SCHEDULE

10:00am Doors Open
10:15am Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
10:30am Kids Planting Activity
11:15am Garden Tour (French); Seed & Garlic Tour (English)
12:00pm Pulled Pork & Veggie Dogs
1:00 Paper Making Workshop (until 4pm)
1:15pm Garden Tour (English); Seed & Garlic Tour (French)
3:15pm Garden Tours (one in French & one in English)
5:00pm Doors Close
*** Ongoing kids tours throughout the day***

GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will show you the farm from our greenhouse through the fields and back to our packing shed. You’ll get to see where all our crops come from and how a broccoli actually grows!

SEED & GARLIC TOURS: Dan will walk you through the seed fields and garlic patch. You can see what Quinoa looks like, find out how to tell different types of garlic apart, and more!

KID’S PLANTING ACTIVITY: At 10:30am, Renée will lead a garden planting workshop. Children will plant their own 3 Summer Sisters (or Brothers) garden that they get to bring home.

KID’S GARDEN TOURS: One of the Tourne-Sol farmers will give a garden tour aimed towards kids to see how food grows from seed to fruit to seed again.

PAPER-MAKING WORKSHOP: From 1 pm to 4pm, we will be hosting a paper-making workshop with local artist Claude Aimée Villeneuve. She will use various plant fibers gathered on the farm.

FOOD: At noon we will have pulled pork and veggie dogs for sale.There will also be a free salad bar made from our fresh local organic greeens!

Talking about running a Cooperative Farm

2014 Tourne-Sol team

The 2014 Tourne-Sol team

We’ve been running our farm as a workers cooperative for 10 years now. You can find out a little bit more about our experience in the podcast and guidebook mentioned below.

Interview about coops on The Ruminant

Last week I spoke to Jordan Marr of The Ruminant podcast about the cooperative aspects of Tourne-Sol farm. You can listen to the whole episode here: e.51: Building a Farm Cooperative to Thrive .

We spoke about the early Tourne-Sol years & how our systems have evolved to manage conflict, build a diversified businesses, and meet our quality of life goals.

 

Greenhorns  Guidebook on Cooperative Farming

In 2014, the Greenhorns  published a guidebook called Cooperative Farming: Frameworks for Farming Together. It is all farming as a coop and covers different coop models and management systems. The book features a number of actual coop farms including Tourne-Sol.

You can download the book from the Greenhorns or from SARE.

 

Planting Overwintered Dandelion

Last year, I selected my favorite Italian Dandelion plants from our market planting. I chose them based on the level of leaf serration, the red stem and green leaf contrast, and vigour.

In fact, I’d actually been eliminating whatever I didn’t like all season long. Whatever was too green, too round leafed, or too marked by disease would get it’s growing tip cut off by the harvest knife as I made bunches for market.

By the end of the season, I was left with a bunch of plants that looked like what I thought Italian Dandelion’s should look like.

(Do note that Italian Dandelions are different from the garden weeds Taraxacum officinale. Italian Dandelions are actually Cichorium intybus  – the chicory species that includes such delicious bitter greens like Radicchio.)

Dandelion Leaves

In the fall, we dug up the roots, trimmed the leaves, and planted them in potting soil in Rubbermaid bins. We stored these bins over the winter in our cold room.

By spring, the roots were starting to sprout blanched leaved in the bins.

 

Dandelion Bin

I took them out to inspect them. All the roots had survived.

Dandelion Roots

We went out to the field and planted away!

Brendan Planting

We planted them one row per bed and one foot spacing per bed. These plants are going to get big.

Dandelion Planted

While we were at it, we also planted out a bunch of different turnips. We’ll let these cross up to create a crazy population that we can select from.

 

Turnips laid out

 

Atwater Seed Library Launch – Tuesday May 12

TUESDAY, May 12 at 6:30 pm

The Atwater Library is inviting the public to the launch of its seed library, a seed-sharing program for everyone in the Greater Montreal region.

The evening includes a showing of the film Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds with discussion.

Plus… free distribution of seeds and tomato plants — Large Red Tomato, Petit Moineau, Blanche du Quebec, Striped Caravan, Purple Brandywine, and Litchi.

Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Ave. at Ste-Catherine (métro Atwater).

Free admission; donations invited. Everyone is welcome.

To find out more, contact Deanna Kazina at deanna@actioncommuniterre.qc.ca.

Seed Library Launch - Atwater Library.ppt (Read-Only) copy