We’re getting ready to get in the fields

by Jay Reesor

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-serving-coffee

Jay was serving up free coffee at Reesor’s Market & Bakery recent open house.

Back on the land

reesors-jay-may-2016

by Jay Reesor

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.)

reesors-tractor

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!

Seeds–really small, but really important

by Jay Reesor

For those of you who follow us on Facebook you already know that we received some of our seeds to plant for this year’s crops at our farm. In the shipment boxes were sweet corn, bean, pumpkin and squash seeds.

I select vegetable seeds for many different characteristics. For example, I evaluate sweet corn seed based on the number of days from planting to harvest, the corn’s eating texture and flavour, its vigour when growing, its cob size, its disease resistance, its husked appearance, its unhusked appearance, its ease of picking, its tip cover….. you get the idea.

Every variety of sweet corn seed has a large number of traits and I need to select the seeds that are just right for our Markham growing location. The trait selection list is also lengthy for the other types of vegetable seeds that we grow.

By the way, none of the vegetable seeds that we plant or the strawberry plants that we grow are GMO. The seed varieties that I choose to plant are superior strictly because of the old-fashioned plant breeding techniques that have been around for generations.

GMO seeds and the food they produce are a topic of considerable debate for some people. Food is such an important issue worldwide and I am committed to learning more, and invite you to learn more, about food systems….from every perspective.

Now that I have these amazing small seeds in the shed I am starting to get very anxious to get on the land and get the growing season started!  Those seeds may be small, but like so many things in life that are small, they are really, really important.

Happy seed selection to all you gardeners. Choose some good ones!