Archive : Brampton Micro Managed Plot

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Fall crop: Ball lettuce

Fall crop: Ball lettuce

Ball lettuce These lettuces were planted in late September.  They have survived the freezing weather and providing us with crisp fresh organic lettuce. The Ceylon onions were planted at the same day and they have been thriving as well.  We only watered once so far this winter since the last watering still keeping the beds wet. This picture was taken on first week of December.
Winter beets

Winter beets

These beets were planted late September as a fall/winter crop experiment.  As of first week of December, they are still healthy. The plant growth is stunt with the latest freezing temperatures and we are hoping that they will have a early start in March.  Our goal is to have the earliest fresh organic beet available for families coming spring.
Hoop house on December 6

Hoop house on December 6

Our hoop house is experiencing it’s first winter at the McVean farm.  We have scaled our shifts to once every two weeks. We were excited to see our structure stand straight with healthy vibrant cold crops inside. We have totally insulated this hoop house by burying the side plastic.  Please note that we don’t have running water or electricity which makes this operation a challenge.

Hoophouse snapshots as of November 7

Cold lovers are doing great inside the hoophouse. Kale from Peel Organics and Broccolli from Farmer Katie are thriving inside. Our own lettuce is doing great as well as spinach and Ceylon onions. Farmer Joyce & Stanley’s Yellow Bitter melon is dead after the frost bites. This bittermelon was planted late in July but produced lots of melons for their market.
Start of cold crops inside the sustainable hoophouse

Start of cold crops inside the sustainable hoophouse

Our September 25 planted cold crops are doing great inside the green house. There is a huge demand for spinach and lettuce  from the market gardeners and farmers from our community farm.  Our community plot farmers have been buying most of the produce. We will be planting again tomorrow on the beds where we had the warm lovers this summer.
October 13 First Frost ends a great 2010 season

October 13 First Frost ends a great 2010 season

Our first frost in Brampton was on October 13.  Since then we had many nights where the temperature dropped below -3 Celcious. Carrots, Broccolli and Ceylon onions survived the frosts.  Broccolli is actually thriving outside in the cold wet weather. We learned a lot from this 1/4 acre plot this year.  The experience we gathered will definitely help us plan our 2011 season where we will expand into an one acre plot.
Fall Italian Viking Spinach & Premium Salad Mix

Fall Italian Viking Spinach & Premium Salad Mix

We got the salad mix seeds from Terra Edibles.  We had great success with their seed before. These were planted on Sept 25. after the full moon.  We are experimenting with the moon pattern planting since many farmers tend to encourage it. Spinach is definitely a high return crop.  We have sold over $100 worth of spinach just from a 3 ft x 15 ft bed.
Fall Ceylon Onion sprouting

Fall Ceylon Onion sprouting

We planted these Ceylon Onions(shallots) on Sept. 25 after the full moon.  Some are planted couple of weeks earlier. They are already shooting out.  These seeds are from our May planted Ceylon onions. We have harvested around 130 lbs of onions from 30 lbs seeds and impressed with the growth in our Brampton clay soil.  Due to popular demand most of these onions went to our 9 team members’ family use.
Fall Ontario Romaine Lettuce

Fall Ontario Romaine Lettuce

Fall Romaine lettuce planted on Sept. 25 after the full moon are doing well. These Romaine lettuce seeds are saved by one of our team member’s father.  These seeds have been producing excelling lettuce heads. There is already demand for the fall season extended crops from Market gardeners who are running out of produce to sell.
Sustainable hoophouse mentoring

Sustainable hoophouse mentoring

We have donated almost 1/3 of the green house space to other farmers in our incubator farm. This year three farmers are experimenting with their crops inside the green house. Here you see Peel Organics farmers trying out North Indian crops. Because of our experiment, next year atleast 5 more farmers are planning on adding hoophouses to their operation.
ENF Produce displayed at the McVean Farm Feast table.

ENF Produce displayed at the McVean Farm Feast table.

This is some of the vegetables we had available from inside the green house and outside. We have three types of eggplants, Ceylon Onions, Trinco chillies, Pineapple Cosack ground cherries, heirloom tomatoes, Asian carrots(which we thought was a failure), french breakfast radish, Keerai spinach, bittermelon and sweet corn on the display.

Hoophouse getting ready for winter

Our low tunnel hoop house had the both side plastics lifted 2.5 feet up to let the air flow since we don’t have electricity to run fans. This technique worked beautifully and we didn’t have any humidity issues at all. In Southern Ontario, temperatures are hovering around +4 celcius at night and it is time for us to shut one side of the hoop house. We still have the right side plastic partially open since the [Read More...]

Vendi Okra & Paavai Bittermelon donated for fall Farmfeast

A chef turned these veggies into beautiful dishes for the farmfeast. 140 people showed up for the Farmfeast and the Chef prepared the meal over charcoal. The funds raised from this event will help our incubator farm operation.
King of the North still producing inside the hoophouse

King of the North still producing inside the hoophouse

King of the North pepper has been a good producer this season. Inside the green house, they were growing wild and providing many good quality peppers.  We lost some to the slugs. Outside, during hot July/August period they were producing smaller peppers but with the rainy September they started producing more bigger and juicier peppers. It definitely goes on our 2011 seed list.
Romaine Lettuce seedlings for fall crop

Romaine Lettuce seedlings for fall crop

These are our own Romaine Lettuce seeds from the Scarborough Backyard garden. We seeded them in the Milton backyard in middle of August.  Their growth started picking up with the colder nights and cooler daytime temperatures. You can see the spot at top where our 2 1/2 year old farmer watered.  It is a challenge to keep that farmer off the field and destroying the crops with a good intention. We will be planting these seedling [Read More...]
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