Murray Meadows Farm

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The 2014 Season Begins!

What a winter. Boy are we glad its over! Well, we think its over, isn’t it? Hard to tell today.

In the middle of our Christmas vacation in BC, we got word and pictures of our collapsed greenhouses. It was devastating news. Immediately upon our return, we began removing the destroyed pieces and replacing them with new parts, purchased and assembled with wonderful help from Fixed Coffee and Baking and their customers, Murray’s Horticultural Services and the Murray family.

One year to the day that we first put plastic on them, we put new plastic on the newly assembled frames. It was a calm sunny and warm day. It felt good to be back where we left off. Then, a few days later, the first forecasts came in for that huge March storm. On the night of the storm, we removed snow from the sides and sadly, cut the new plastic off one house before it collapsed in the gusts.  We realized just how vulnerable our structures are. We now have them strapped together and to the ground which is reducing their shaking in the strong winds. We plan to remove the plastic in the late fall and hopefully reuse it in the spring. We will also remove it in the event of a hurricane or post-tropical storm.

So far so good and now there are plants it the ground! One house is full of kale, another of lettuce, Napa cabbage, and seeded with radishes, arugula and baby kale. The next one will be planted up next week, and a small recycled fourth house is up that will also be planted up in the next couple of weeks, or as soon as the weather warms a little!!!

 

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Other projects this Spring included a new and improved wind-fence across the field to protect both crops and greenhouses…its unsightly rope guy lines should be covered in Scarlet Runner Beans this summer. And, a fifth recycled greenhouse is also slowly being assembled, hopefully done by mid May, in order to grow trellised tomatoes and cucumbers.

We learned a lot last year, our first year growing vegetables at this scale,  and it feels great putting those lessons in place this year to improve our efficiency and increase our output. No more kale shortages!


Just checking in!

There is just never enough time to keep this page updated! So much on the go all the time. Here is a shot of our market table from last week. Its looking great and the vegetables keep coming!This week, we just might have green bell peppers!

Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly email so you can order your vegetables for pick up at Murray’s Garden Centre or the St. John’s Farmer’s Market! Send an email to farmer@murraymeadows.ca asking to be added to the farm list!


No produce available this week!

I will not be at the Farmers’ Market this week :(

Blame the weather! The lull in production I’ve been fearing has arrived. We’ve harvest most of the protected produce, now what is coming is the produce planted outside…the weather hasn’t been too conducive to fast growing so we have to wait. This week looks good though and I’m hoping we will be back on the go next week.

Have a great week and please send lots of good vibes to the little lettuces and kales!

If you would like to get on the email list and be given first dibs on our produce (kale), send an email to farmer@murraymeadows.ca and we will set it aside for you to pick up at Murray’s Garden Centre or the St. John’s Farmer’s Market.


Getting caught up

Its been a busy week here at Murray Meadows. We hired some help yesterday and got a lot done! Things were stressfully behind due to a broken tiller, delayed fertilizer and wet weather. Beds are fertilized, tilled, and many of them seeded with radishes, beets, beans, corn, chard, spinach and arugula. Other beds got the lettuce and kale transplants, lots of kale with more to go in!

More tomatoes have been transplanted into the hoophouses, as well as bell peppers. Zucchini have also been transplanted outside but the cool temperatures and the windy days have taken their toll. We’re going to reseed some today to replace the dead ones.

We were at the first St. John’s Farmer’s Market of the year with our pals from Seed to Spoon; we sold out in three hours! It was great fun too. We’ll be back this Saturday; come say hi!

As these first few harvests have come, we have been able to reflect and see what has worked, and what hasn’t. For example, people love kale, grow more kale next year! But not to worry, lots of kale being planted now and later, and we hope to harvest kale to Christmas!

I will be emailing everyone on the email list this evening with availability for this weekend and will set aside anything you would like to be picked up at Murray’s Garden Centre or the St. John’s Farmer’s Market. If you would like to be on the list, email: farmer@murraymeadows.ca


Finally an update, Facebook is just too convienient!

Its been a busy month for sure but being held back a bit. I’ve started planting lettuce and seeded beets radishes and arugula outside, but the weather is staying pretty cool. I’m hoping to start transplanting tomatoes into the coldframes soon too. Come on Newfoundland! Warm back up!

It hasn’t just been the weather holding me up though, organic fertilizer is being held up on the mainland, but I hear it is now waiting for the ferry. My tiller also broke while trying to break up some packed ground. Fortunately is was just some bolts and a bit of a bend that has been fixed. The special bolts are in the mail.

Soooo, with any luck, I’ll be back on track and trying to keep up with the demand. There are hundreds of tomatoes getting bigger and stronger and waiting patiently to be put in the ground. As well, hundreds of lettuce plants growing under lights will be enjoying the outdoors soon. Speaking of lettuce, if I do say so myself, the mixed salad greens we are growing are stunning and delicious.

Some great restaurants in town are using our produce and raving about it. Rocket Bakery has been really supportive of our venture since we first met one of the owners, Kelly Mansell back when we were here in 2011 for a visit. They can’t keep up with the demand for their kale salad. Hungry Heart Cafe was really pleased with their arugula, and Fixed Coffee and Bakery, a great busy little cafe is striving to source as much as possible from local sources. It is great to be a part of that. Check them out if you haven’t already and ask for something with a bit o’ Murray Meadows in it!

If you are interested in getting some produce before I have enough to offer at general sale on a regular basis, send an email to farmer@murraymeadows.ca and I’ll let you know when and what is available!

Tomatoes! Lots of Tomatoes!

Tomatoes! Lots of Tomatoes!


Here comes the warm weather!

I’ve been enjoying balmy temperatures inside the coldframes these past few weeks…shorts and t-shirt weather in there. More Importantly, the plants have been enjoying it too! With the nice weather coming, I’m tempted to drop in some tomatoes, just a few to see how they do…

Speaking of tomatoes, off to transplant some out of the cell packs and into bigger pots. There are a lot! I’ll post a picture of them on the facebook page this afternoon.

Things are growing great!

Things are growing great!


Warm days and Irrigation pipes

Who knew Evan was an irrigation expert? He put together all our irrigation before transplanting crops to be ready for this season’s third harvest, sometime in June. The second house is being planted up and hopefully we’ll have plastic on the third this week!

The garlic we planted last fall is coming up but no onions yet, I hope they made it through the winter…they were an experiment to see if they would overwinter here, like they do on the west coast. Time will tell. Unfortunately, the garlic won’t be for sale this year, I’m using it for seed for next year, but only a limited amount of it will be sold, as again, I will be using most of it for seed. By year three, I should have lots for sale! I’ll try some though and let you know how it is ;)

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Evan doing irrigation things

 

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Finishing touches

 

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I’m obsessed with rock picking.

 

20130420-191311.jpgFirst plants in

 

20130420-191334.jpgKeeping the plants warm

 

20130420-191323.jpgGarlic shoots!

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