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.

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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

Video About Large-Scale Garlic Scape Processing

I just watched this report on la Semaine Verte about garlic scapes.

The video showacses Le Petit Mas and their garlic scape harvest. They harvest 1000s of pound at a time and shuffle them around in bulk bins. They then process the scapes and lacto ferment them.

If you are interested in garlic, you should watch it even if you don’t understand French!

Below is a picture of our high-tech garlic scape storage system: garlic scapesI

Seed Connetions 2014 Conference!

One month from today we will be in the middle of Seed Connections 2014.

If you work with seed or want to know anything about seeds, you should not miss this event. If you participated in the 2012 edition, you know what I’m talking about. If you missed the last Seed Connections, well you can read my blog post about the 2012 event.

Seed exchange 2

WHEN: Friday Nov. 7 to Sunday Nov. 9, 2014

WHERE: MacDonald Campus of McGill University in St.-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC

WHAT: ECOSGN Seed Connections is a fully bilingual event bringing together farmers, seed-savers, seed companies, community gardeners, researchers, and experts on organic seed production to share knowledge, skills, and experience over a packed, 3-day agenda!Whether you are a beginner gardener or an expert seed producer, if you are interested in ecological seed production in Canada, this is the conference to attend.

HOW: Click on the following links:

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please e-mail ecosgn2014@gmail.com.Looking forward to seeing you there!

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Garlic Festival on Aug. 23

Two days until the Ste-Anne-Garlic festival! Find out more at http://steannegarlicfestival.wordpress.com/  or on Facebook

We are busy brushing garlic bulbs with toothbrushes for the occasion!

2014-08-11 garlic fest 2

If you can’t make the event, you can live vicariously through last year’s garlic fest video.