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!

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

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:

Our Farm Market is now open for our 30th season

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We’re proud to announce that we’ve opened for our 30th year this week. With your support and lots of help from our wonderful staff we’ve grown over the decades. Thank you!

We hope that this year will be better than ever for you to enjoy the fruits and vegetables that we and other Ontario farmers grow for you.

This week you’ll find delicious, sweet early strawberries from southwestern Ontario. In a few weeks our own ready-picked strawberries will be ripe and ready.

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Happiness is the Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream delivery.

Ontario spring crops available now are:

  • beautiful asparagus
  • Swiss chard
  • greenhouse vegetables
  • rhubarb

The farm market is well-stocked with lots of our own fruit pies, muffins, wholesome bread, plus butter tarts, maple syrup, preserves and other treats. Our freezers are stocked with entrees and soups made by our kitchen staff, plus sausage and organic meats.

There’s lots of good eating to be done this spring and soon summer will come with all the bounty of Ontario here for you! Here’s to a great season of Ontario eating!

Multi-Grain Crepes

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Do you know what a food hack is? It’s a way to make your cooking life a little easier, or a different, innovative way to prepare a food.
Here’s a way to use your package of Reesor’s Multi-Grain Pancake Mix to go a little “gourmet”—make crepes.

Yields about 12-14, 6 inch crepes

1 cup of dry Reesor’s Multi-grain Pancake Mix or white flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp canola oil or melted butter

Put one cup of the dry pancake mix in a blender.  Grind until smooth textured.

Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and whir until blended.
Transfer to a bowl or put the blender jar in the fridge for about 30 minutes to rest and to let the air bubbles release (if you have time). Or just go ahead with the next steps.

Preheat over medium-high heat, an approximately 8” frying pan or a crepe pan if you have one.
Add a small amount of oil. Pour a little less than 1/4 cup of batter into the hot pan and tilt the pan to spread the batter into a thin, round layer. Turn the crepe when it is bubbly, firm and lightly browned on the other side. Loosen the edges before turning. Then turn and brown it on the other side.
Stir the batter and scoop it from the bottom of the bowl each time you scoop out the batter.  Repeat. Flip the finished crepes onto a plate, stacking them up until ready to fill and serve.

Be prepared for the first one or two crepes to be imperfect, but as you go along the crepes should look better. If you use plain flour instead of pancake mix add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

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Filling suggestions

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Sauté 2 cloves of mashed garlic and make a white sauce or a cream sauce, and add shredded cheddar cheese or your favourite cheese with 1 tsp of lemon juice to the sauce.  Serve with asparagus.

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Whipped cream and strawberries.

Back on the land

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by Jay Reesor

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!

Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme–our garden centre is now open

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You know summer’s on the way when we open our outdoor garden centre. This week we brought in colourful hanging baskets, lots of lovely herbs for transplanting, potted tomatoes and hanging strawberry baskets (complete with ripening strawberries). Keep checking every week because more plants will keep coming in.

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Ready, set, melt!

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by Jay Reesor

The sap is running, the snow is melting, and the farmers, including Grahame and I, are getting anxious to be out in the fields. It has felt like a long winter and since there have finally been at least a few mild days, many of us are thinking about spring and growing things!

Grahame and I are excited about using some new planting techniques this spring, planting more cover and green manure crops, and trying out a new pumpkin seed to give us a basketball sized pumpkin in early September.

The very first outdoor task for the year will be removing straw from the strawberry plants. Straw has been on the plants all winter long to protect them from those frigid January and February temperatures. Once that job is done, the growing season will begin! So, let’s hope for favourable weather in 2015.

Remember, the best food is the food that you grow yourself. Can you find an area to grow a small garden this year?

When To Expect Local Goodness

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Ontario strawberries:  Available now

Ontario rhubarb: Available now

Ontario asparagus:  Available now

Reesor’s Farm strawberries:  About June 22

Reesor’s Farm pick your own strawberries:  About June 24

Reesor’s Farm sweet corn:  July 21