A fresh start

by Jay Reesor

It’s a new season! A new season filled with its own unique weather issues and questions.  Will it be too hot and make it a difficult strawberry season?  Will it be too dry? Making it a challenge for our sweet corn crops.  Will it be too cold and not let the pumpkins mature and making them stay green until late into the season?  Will it be too wet and not let us get our field work done on time? It will probably be a little bit of all of these challenges, but every year that I have been farming we’ve always had some kind of a crop.  I’m grateful for that!

And with the new season comes a new group of young adults to work along with us in the farm market and in the fields. Getting to know our new young staff and reconnecting with returning staff is one of the pleasures of a new season. I’m hoping we all have a safe and productive season working together.

I hope this new spring season is a good one for each of our readers. Thank you for your patronage to our farm and store through the years. And if you are a gardener, remember, the best food is the food you grow yourself. So, get growing!

Inspecting the spring strawberry fields became more fun recently with my grand-daughter at my side and my visiting Alberta cousin Art Reesor, on the right.

Farm Market News

You’ll find familiar and new faces ready to serve you this summer at our farm market. Last week the staff came together for training and they’re eager to stock our shelves with Ontario produce and help you find your favourite fruit pies, cookies, frozen meats, Reesor’s own frozen prepared foods and more!

This week we have lots of asparagus, rhubarb, greenhouse vegetables, baking, preserves and hanging baskets and as the summer goes on, more and more Ontario goodness will be here for you.

New this year are pretty hanging baskets with a unique green moss-like basket and chain.

Key Dates for Ontario Produce

Depending on the weather, here are some seasonal produce start dates to keep in mind:

  • Asparagus: Now
  • Rhubarb:  Now
  • Strawberries:  About June 15
  • Pick Your Own Strawberries: About June 21
  • Peas: Pick Your Own & Ready-Picked About June 21
  • Green beans: Late June
  • Sweet Corn: About July 21
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkins: Early October

Pumpkins, sweet corn & plant breeding–a helpful mix

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by Jay Reesor

It’s the time of the year when we head to the field to cut pumpkins. No, we don’t go and make jack o’lanterns, but we do cut the pumpkins from the vines and put them in bins to bring to the market. And we do have some nice pumpkins in the field this year despite the dry, dry summer. All of the pumpkins are a little bit smaller than they would be if we’d had normal rainfall, but the quality is still very nice.

And speaking of quality: plant breeders have not only produced some much improved pumpkin varieties, but improved varieties of other crops as well. They’ve improved the sweetness and tenderness of our corn and the stem quality on the pumpkins and bred green beans to mature uniformly on the plant to facilitate harvest. All of this has been done with plant breeding and not genetic engineering.

Hey there high school and university students who love science. Looking for a calling? Consider plant genetics and plant breeding and make an important contribution to our community and the world’s food supply!

It’s time for pumpkins

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🎃  It’s free to enter our farm’s pick your own pumpkin patch and there are lots of photo opportunities with pumpkins and corn. Fill a wheelbarrow for $35 or buy them individually for $.35/lb.

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🎃 Straw bales, mums and corn stalks are available for your outdoor decorating.

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🎃  Lots of ready-picked pumpkins, large and small gourds are available at both our locations.

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Reesor’s Farm Market is now open for the season

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Welcome to a new farm market season shopping in the fresh air at Reesor’s Farm Market. Our returning and new staff are ready to serve you bringing you the best of our farm and other Ontario farms at 10825 Ninth Line, Markham at Elgin Mills Rd.

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It’s time to pick your own strawberries at Reesor’s Farm Market

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Come see how strawberries grow and enjoy a farm experience while you have fun picking our juicy, delicious Ontario strawberries. It’s our 30th year of Pick Your Own (PYO) strawberries and it’s so much fun to meet grandparents, parents and children who make it a tradition to pick strawberries together in our fields.
No time to pick? We have plenty of ready-picked strawberries available by the litre and by the flat in our Farm Market and at Reesor’s Market & Bakery, Main St., Stouffville.

We plan to have PYO strawberries available until early July, but strawberries are very sensitive to the variables of heat and rain, so please plan to pick soon. Our planned PYO hours for June 18 and June 20-25 are 8 am-5 pm, but may change according to the weather. Please call 905-640-4568 for a pre-recorded message about hours and picking conditions for the day you plan to come pick. Please remember we are closed Sundays.
Here’s what to expect when you pick strawberries at Reesor’s:

  • Free admission to the field.
  • Straw between the rows and under the berries making it more comfortable for you and keeping the strawberries cleaner when it rains.
  • Helpful, friendly staff at the fields to assign you rows of strawberries from which to pick, so you can pick more berries more quickly.  You won’t be picking from picked-over berries.
  • Bring your own containers or purchase baskets from our staff in the strawberry fields.
  • Convenient field-side parking.
  • Hand washing & toilet by the field.
Find out more about our strawberries and pick your own on our website:

It’s the sides that make the meal

Make your favourite bread stuffing using Reesor’s Pilgrim bread, mash up beautiful white Ontario potatoes, slice up sweet potatoes for a casserole, roast some Ontario squash, or make a fresh cabbage-slaw. Remember to pick up enough of our Ruby Red Cranberry Sauce for Christmas dinner and for turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

Let’s eat! Tomatoes!

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We’re picking our Romas and field tomatoes now. They’re available in bushels, half-bushels, 3 litre baskets and by weight.

There’s nothing quite like a grown-in-the-field Ontario tomato on our Pilgrim bread with mayonnaise or Jay’s favourite way with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of salt.

If you’re interested in canning tomatoes or other Ontario produce we recommend the tested recipes on the Bernardin website (the folks who make canning jars and lids). Or check out our Pinterest board for more preserving ideas.

http://www.bernardin.ca/recipes/tomato-sauce.htm
https://www.pinterest.com/ReesorsMarket/canning-preserving/

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