Winter is here, but there are some signs of spring
By Jay Reesor
For me, winters just don’t seem as long as they used to be. Getting older seems to make time go faster, so even winters go by more quickly than when I was younger. My feeling of getting older and time going quickly may have something to do with the fact that I can no longer sing the Beatles song “When I’m 64” as if it is in the future.
Even though, according to the calendar we are just over one month into the start of winter, spring doesn’t seem too far away. With seed catalogues coming in and seed salesmen and farm supply people calling – that’s a sign of spring for me!
And isn’t it awesome how the days are getting just a little bit longer? How encouraging! Until spring comes, I’m doing my best to enjoy this season and enjoy living each season as it comes. Spring will come and it will no longer just be something to look forward to.
While we are enjoying this winter season, why not take some time to plan how you can perhaps grow a little bit more of your own food this year. Because, as I always say, the best food is the food you grow yourself.
Ever wonder what is on a farmer’s to do list in mid-April? Just in case you’re interested, here is what is on our list for the next few weeks.
This was the winter of flat tires, so we called in the tire repair guys to fix two flats on two different tractors and replace our cultivator’s tires. Then we have to replace the points on some of the cultivator shanks as they are worn out. Next we have to get the corn planter out and make sure everything is working well to get the seeds planted at just the right depth and properly firmed into the soil. Next priority is to make sure all the oil and filters are changed on the tractors and all of the equipment is greased and ready to go when we get a sunny, dry day. As well, any day now we need to take the straw off the strawberries with a small tractor and rake and then walk the entire field to touch up any areas that the machine didn’t do well. Yep. It’s going to be a busy few weeks!
I wish each of our readers a wonderful spring season!
Jay was serving up free coffee at Reesor’s Market & Bakery recent open house.
Wow! Another year almost finished and if you’re like me it’s hard to believe! This year marks the 31st Christmas of Reesor’s Farm Market. It’s easy for me to remember that anniversary because that’s the year our first daughter was born, and 31 years later I’m now a grandfather!
In those 31 years lots has changed here on the farm. I now have many more people to help harvest the corn and pick the strawberries and make sure all of the crops are tended well and sold at our market. Back in the old days it was just me! As well, we have more labour-saving equipment which is a real help to everyone here.
When I was a younger farmer we even had livestock here on the farm including pigs and chickens which made for lots more work!
But some things haven’t changed. We are still doing our best to care for the soil and grow healthy, nutritious crops. We are still trying to be good neighbours to those near and far and still wanting to live simply so others can simply live.
Have a Merry Christmas and may 2017 be a wonderful year for you and yours.
In the photo above photo Jay is in a sweet corn field that was planted with oats last summer to protect and build the soil for next year .
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. At least it is for farmers because it’s the beginning of a brand new season. Over the winter Grahame and I were planning seed varieties, new crops to try, new equipment for those crops and now we finally get to put our plans into action! What’s terrific is that Mother Nature has also been cooperating with a generous amount of drying weather so that we can be on the land.
Here it is just May 6 and we have sweet corn and green beans planted and already out of the ground, as well as a good chunk of our new strawberry plants transplanted. So, it’s an exciting time of the year. (Look closely in the photo above and you can see the green bean plants staying warm under the corn-based, biodegradable plastic.)
Thanks to our transplanting team, Grahame on the tractor, Peter, Doc and Lukki our 2017 strawberry crop is in the ground. Thinking about planting a garden this year? Just remember, the best food is the food you grow yourself. Plant on!
It was 30 years ago this summer that we first opened up Reesor Farm Market on the 9th Line. Although our current building is quite basic, our original market was just a farm wagon with a canvas roof.
Over the years the variety of produce, baking and foods that we offer has increased along with our customer base. As time passed and to make life better for everybody we built a little market building. Every few years we’ve added some new features and the farm market grew to include a bakery, coolers and more fresh and local food.
This week I was glad to welcome my parents (in the photo above) to opening day of our farm market season. Both my dad and my mom physically helped to build the market and have been a tremendous support to me in running the farm and the market. My wife Miriam also makes huge contributions as well. It has taken a lot of work over the years to build our business and she has always been supportive. I am hoping for a good season for all of us this year growing and making good food.
When spring comes, it can come in a hurry! A little over a month ago all of us were wondering if spring would ever arrive. We had endured a long winter and the cold stayed right into April.
But a few weeks can change everything. We are currently planting everything from strawberries to sweet corn, green and yellow beans, beets, peas, soy beans, oats and clover. The peas and the corn are even up already!
Every spring-planting season has its challenges and right now we are trying to manage all of our planting to maintain moisture. It hasn’t rained significantly for weeks so we have to be careful that every seed we plant finds enough moisture to germinate.We will figure it out.
I hope that you have a chance to do some planting this spring too!
It has been an unusual growing season. It started off late, stayed cool for most of the summer and now we are receiving some beautiful fall weather. Most farmers in our community are very happy to have this stretch of good weather to ensure that their crops are ready for the season’s first frost.
I remember, clearly, 40 years ago in 1974 when our area had a very unseasonably early frost around September 8. The morning after that fateful night, immature corn was totally destroyed. The fields even smelled bad! It does not appear it will be a year like that, but crops are susceptible this time of year.
Do you still have some tomatoes, peppers or corn in your garden? Keep hoping for some warm weather and keep the blankets handy to cover them up if necessary. Here is hoping for an amazing fall with a long stretch of Indian summer!