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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Market vegetables.

We are busy picking and cleaning vegetables today, for the market on Saturday. Looks like we will have onions, beets, beet greens, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs and a few raspberries.
The flowers we will have are Sunflowers, Gladiolas, Dahlias, Zinnias, Bell's of Ireland, Monkshood, Sweet Peas, Lilies, Peonies, Sea Holly, Yarrow and Heliopsis.
We will have a new display apparatus for the flowers. Stop by and check it out.
Did you know....that a Locavore is a term used to describe someone whom seeks out locally grown and produced foods. The word locavore was the New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year for 2007 and is a growing trend.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunflowers ready for market.

The sunflowers are starting to bloom now and it will be a sea of yellow soon. We plant sunflowers as a windbreak for the delicate flowers that can be damaged from the wind. So they have a dual purpose, as we also harvest their flowers for fresh sales and there is always plenty left to go to seed for the birds in winter. Yesterday we took 2 truckloads of flowers into the city and sold to the florists. We have never had to do that before, as we usually get them all in one load. Lots of beautiful flowers. Will also take flowers in again on Wednesday for the flower shops.
This year we are noticing that a lot of the birds have left already, the yard anyway.....not sure if they are hanging out elsewhere. The tree swallows, first batch of bluebirds, and robins have left the yard. We see a few tree swallows once in a while, but we don't remember them leaving this early in previous years....but then again we have never had this many birds nesting in the yard before, so maybe we just did not notice this happening.
The vegetables are loving this warm weather lately and are looking so healthy. We are going to have start watering the dahlias today, so we could use another inch of rain soon. We do have everything mulched now, so it will stop the moisture from evaporating.
The small greenhouse is now home to a garter snake. We are now using it for storage and when ever we go into it, the snake slithers away into a hole in the ground inside the greenhouse. It must be enjoying the warm temperature inside the greenhouse.

Friday, July 23, 2010


The recent warm sunny days, (very little rain) has prompted the plants to grow with such vigor.
The flowers have all exploded into colour. All are coming into bloom with intense colour and fragrance. Yesterday afternoon we walked by the sweet pea garden and we could smell them from about 20' away. It just catches your attention and draws you to the area where they are growing.
We are busy cutting flowers and vegetables for Saturdays market. We will have available new potatoes, beets, beet greens, green onions, carrots, dill, cilantro and mint.
There will be plenty of flower choices this week, including sweet peas (of course), lilies, gladiolas (red ones), peonies (white, burgundy and pink), sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias. Stop and enjoy the colours and smells.
The picture today was taken by our daughter, Mandy Harding, whom is a professional photographer. They started their own business, Memories by Mandy Photography, 3 years ago and have had huge success with it. They regularly post photos on their blog www.mandyphotography.blogspot.com. The website address is www.memoriesbymandy.ca. Check it out, you will enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lily delivery.

Today we are off to the city to deliver lilies. We cut over 100 lilies yesterday, reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. They are beautiful this year...long tall stems with lots of buds. Will continue cutting lilies for the next 2 weeks or so. Like to cut them when the bud is swollen and showing colour but not yet opened. They are easier to transport this way.
We started picking carrots this week and will continue harvesting potatoes, beets and onions.
It is still raining every day, not sure if this cycle will break this year. The tomato plants would like warmer temperatures, as they are not producing much fruit yet. The peppers are producing, surprisingly, as they usually like warmer weather, but the plant is not really growing very tall. The raspberries took a beating this fall and winter, weather wise, and have struggled, so we will not be harvesting too much fruit. We also took a look at the spot where we pick Saskatoon's in the bush, and there is very little fruit. Will have to resort to the tame Saskatoon's this year.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

150 Peonies!

We had the pleasure of providing a wedding this weekend with peonies. We had never seen 150 peonies all together before....WoW were they beautiful.

The flowers are all starting to produce. We will be cutting sweet peas, delphiniums, lilies, dahlias and peonies for the Farmers Market.

We will have several types of herbs, potatoes, beets, beet greens, onions and garlic scape's for market as well.

We came across an article about attracting ladybugs to your garden. Apart from aphids, ladybugs also require a source of pollen for food and are attracted to specific types of plants. The most popular ones have umbrella shaped flowers, such as fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, wild carrot and yarrow. Other plants that also attract lady bugs are cosmos (especially the white ones), coreposis, scented geraniums and dandelions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The picture today is an Asiatic lily named Raspberry on Whip. I have had this particular lily for a very long time now and is one of my favourites.
The lilies are going to be spectacular this year. They are all stretching nice and tall and developing many buds on each stem. They will be available at the market soon.
We have decided that we will not be attending the weekday markets for a while, due to the huge workload out here. Although the rain is great for growing the flowers and vegetables it is also great for growing the weeds and grass. All we've been doing is cutting grass and weeding. We are accumulating a lot of grass clippings though, and they are being used as mulch so we don't have to weed as often. All is good.
Did you know....the ears of a cricket are located on the front legs, just below the knee.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovely morning.

Woke up to another gorgeous day. The fog was lingering for a short time, before the sun burnt it off. The birds are busy singing and going about. Saw a close up of the dove this morning for the first time. The bluebirds by the field garden (whom produced 6 young) are busy incubating more eggs. Unbelievable!!! The tree swallows are all busy feeding their young. Looks like some young ones may have left the nest, as their is quite a few flying around.

An update on the peony count is now at 1200 stems and they are pretty much finished. A very successful year for those. Everything else is growing great. The dahlias are starting to produce. The sunflowers seem to grow a couple of inches a day. The tomatoes look fantastic and there is lots of fruit on. We will be checking the potatoes today...love new potatoes.

Now market day, Saturday July 10...we will have green onions, garlic scape's, beet greens, mint, dill, and cilantro. We will have peonies and a few other flowers (dahlias, snapdragons) and the perennials and hypertufas. Another full load. What are garlic scapes you ask....they are produced on the top of the garlic where bulbils are formed, the seed of the garlic. Before the bulbils form we harvest the scapes. The scapes are a gourmet delight...steam them whole or serve with melted butter like asparagus. Add to stir fries, salads etc. They have a delicate garlic flavour.
The picture today is a delphinium.
Did you know butterflies taste with their feet

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bird nest hunting.

Our granddaughter visited with us for a couple of days this week. She is 4 yrs old and loves the outdoors. So we went bird nest hunting in our shelter belt. The picture today is a nest of a sparrow of some sort. The blue eggs are the sparrow's, and the larger speckled brown egg is a cowbird egg. The cowbird's are called nomadic parasites, due to the fact they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, so they can be free to follow the buffalo herds. Since there are no buffalo herds anymore, they now hang out with the cattle. We found several nests that day, one on the ground and several in the Hawthorn bushes. She also was able to observe a nest of young sparrows, which was on the ground under a lily.

We are not attending the market today, but plan on attending the new Thursday evening market from 5-9pm.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More rain!!!!

Another system moved through the area about 20 minutes ago with rain and a little wind. No hail out here yet....wild weather this year.
Another market day tomorrow....we will have lettuce, onions, summer savory, cilantro and mint and peonies. The count right now is 960 stems of peonies stored in the cooler. We have talked to a few of the florist shop owners and they are looking forward to local flowers again this summer.
The rain has stopped now, so we need to get the truck packed for market day tomorrow. After market we are off to the jazz festival.
Did you know....there is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The wall.

As we dig around the soil in the yard preparing new beds, we come across a lot of old tools and machinery and vehicle parts. So we decided that they should be displayed somehow to reflect the history of the people whom homesteaded here and decided on the shed. The picture today is the shed wall where the history is displayed.
The count of cut peonies in the cooler is at 550 stems right now. Probably have cut about 60% at this time. Will start delivering to the florist shops on Monday. Today we are taking fresh flowers into the city for a wedding that is taking place on Friday. We really enjoy being able to contribute to celebrations.
We had a storm Tuesday night with lots of lightning and wind. The wind damaged some of the delphiniums, but other than that everything weathered the storm fine. Received rain with it as well which was welcomed. Everything is looking so healthy.