Welcome to Mistik Acres.

We hope you are able to form a connection with us, and the products we grow and produce on the land we live and work with.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Northern Oriole.

We are crossing our fingers that the orioles will make their home here. We see them every day now and we hear them all the time. They have a very distinct, loud song which we can even hear in the house when they are singing in the bluff nearby.
The barn swallows are busy creating a nest in the quonset again. They do this every year, but unfortunately the babies usually fall out of the nest shortly after they are born. Have noticed this for a couple of years now.
In the valley by our house their is a slough that has grown considerably since the rain and a couple of mallards are incubating their eggs.
We checked out the gardens yesterday and were pleasantly surprised that the seeds are all germinating in this cool weather. The amount of rainfall we have had is considerably less as to some other areas, so once the sun comes out and the breezes start we will be back in the gardens again in no time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tree planting and the birds.

We couldn't work in the garden due to the moisture, so we planted some trees in the yard. We planted a couple of sour cherry trees, couple of currants and 4 willow trees we had rooted from cuttings last year. The rain should get them off to a good start. Before it started raining this morning we planted sunflowers, zinnias, wheat and a few gladiola bulbs.
While we were planting we were listening and observing the prairie chickens in the silver leaf willow's. We figure they are nesting among the trees. We also spotted a couple of other birds yesterday. One was a vibrant orange and had a beautiful loud song..we think it may have been an Oriole, and the other one was brilliant yellow, a bit different than the American Goldfinch...we think it may have been a warbler of some kind. We hope they stick around for the summer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rain, rain, rain!!!!!

But we aren't complaining....
We water our gardens with rainwater we collect from the roof's of our house and garage. In total we can store about 4500 gallons of water, and all the tanks are filled to capacity. But on the other hand, right now it takes about 135 gallons per day to water the plants in the greenhouse.
We will be at the Saskatoon Farmers Market Wed May 26 with our plants. Perennials, annuals, tomatoes, peppers, succulents and dahlias.
It looks like Thursday is full moon, so after that we should not get frost anymore (cross your fingers), so the planting will really kick into high gear. We transplant a lot of plants...flowers and vegetables.
I would like to pass along a tip for planting tomatoes....plant as much of the stem of the plant as possible. You can even lay the tomato on it's side in the planting hole, and the next day the top of the plant (above ground) will have straightened up. The reason you want to do this is so the tomato can develop roots along the stem, which will make for a healthier plant. Use bonemeal and or compost in the planting hole.
Happy planting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update on birds.

Very busy day at the market this weekend. Thanks to everyone whom stopped by.

Lots of rain and wind last couple of days. This morning everything looks very green and peaceful out here.

We still have not seen the young killdeer's, but we see the parents around the yard every day. The male hummingbird is back now and it looks like all the tree swallows are happy with the nesting boxes. We have a couple of mourning doves nesting here somewhere as well. They sit on the power line and hoot similar to an owl. They are a bit timid though, we cannot get too close to them.
The picture of the Dahlia is one that we have grown for the past 2 years. It is in the Karma series, which have been developed for the cut flower industry. The name is Naomi, approximately 36" tall and strong flower stems. It also does very well grown in a pot. We also have 3 other colours in the series this year.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Hummingbirds are back!

Yesterday the lady hummingbird was checking out the red on our outdoor thermometer letting us know she was back. They do that every year, as we seem to never have the nectar feeder hung, before they arrive. So far it is only the female. The male has not been seen yet.

We are packing the truck today for Saturday's market. It will be stuffed with all types of plant material. Perennials, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, sweet peas, verbena, gomphrena, snapdragons, castor beans, foxgloves, cardoon, succulents, 5 dahlia varieties, all of which are grown for the cut flower industry, and the hypertufa containers. This year we made a large container suitable for tomato plants or flower/foliage groupings. The dimensions are approximately 15" tall by 17" across.

We also have a good selection of succulents, some of which are potted into decorative containers, hypertufa containers or they are available in a 3" plastic pot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Market day.

We are at the Saskatoon Farmers Market today with bedding plants, perennials, succulents and hypertufa planters. Looks like it is going to be another beautiful day.
Yesterday we spotted a moose travelling through our pasture and the day before an elk was travelling in the same direction through the pasture.
The bird activity this year at the farm is amazing. The tree bluff by our house is alive with chatter from the birds starting at 4:00am. When do they sleep? :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tree Swallow's con't...

My goodness, there still were some tree swallows without a house today....so we put up another three more houses. Hopefully they will be to their liking. They have stopped tormenting the bluebirds, since they have been house shopping :-).
Busy planting again today. The radish. spinach, lettuce, onion and kohlrabi are all up, as well as some sunflowers. Always enjoy seeing the first signs of germination.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birds of plenty!

As we were planting in our field area, we were observing the tree swallows constantly bothering the bluebirds, whom have claimed the birdhouse by the garden. So we decided to put up another 7 birdhouses for the tree swallows that had no where to nest.
As Pat was attaching the houses to the posts the tree swallows were watching and following him and claiming the houses. Hope they have all found new homes now and will stop fighting with the other birds. We are also anticipating them to take care of a lot of the mosquito's this summer...as well as a lot of other garden pests.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Planting time.

Busy time out here for the next while. We have lots of moisture now, so all the seeding and transplanting that will be completed over the next couple of weeks should be successful.
Some of the leeks were transplanted earlier this week and yesterday the sweet peas and snapdragons were planted. Some of the potatoes were planted on Tuesday and we will be seeding carrots, beets, and onions today. The radish, kohlrabi, and bunching onions have germinated and should really grow with the warm weather forcast for the week.
We are at the Saskatoon Farmers Market on Sat with all our plant material. The tomatoes and pepper plants look fantastic. We have many new perennials, 5 different dahlias, as well as our succulents and hypertufa planters.
Update regarding the killdeer nesting....the eggs are now gone and the parents have left that area of the yard. They have moved to a different area now, but we have not seen the babies at all yet. We hope they were successful in hatching and have not been eaten by predators.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It is cool and wet this morning, will have to wait to plant the potatoes till it dries a bit. We built two sweet pea fences yesterday. We will transplant the sweet peas later this week. It looks great. Will have a bigger supply of flowers to sell at the Farmers Market this summer. They are always in high demand.

The birds are busy building nests, going through the mating rituals. We hung about 15 birdhouses this spring and it looks like they are just about all claimed. The sparrows and tree swallows are battling it out for a couple of houses. The bluebirds are incubating their eggs....it is so nice to see the male bluebird around. He is still a vibrant blue from his mating period.

The air is very active with geese flying over and the cranes are floating overhead with their distinct call.

Lots of activity here in the Spring.