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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spectacular Colours

Fall, it is our favourite time of year, especially this year. The colours of the leaves are brilliant in various hues of yellow, orange and brown. The wind picked up yesterday and took all the leaves off some of the trees with it. We were in an urban area today and the trees were spectacular, so enjoy wherever you may be.

The birds are still busy enjoying the sunflowers, seeds and berries. There are a few robins still around, feasting in the gardens, as well as American Goldfinches, Sparrows and Chickadees. The geese are flying around in the area in large groupings. Lots of food around for them to eat as the farmers are only starting to harvest this week. The Red Squirrels, three of them in total, are busy harvesting for their winter diet. They enjoy the sunflowers the most, but also like the wheat. I have the wheat hanging in the greenhouse to ripen and any seeds they can reach, they help themselves. One has set up his winter nest in the quonset, but have not yet found the other's nest's. You often hear them scolding each other when they cross the territory lines.
Today we dug three tubs full of horseradish root, so we will begin cleaning, peeling and grinding tomorrow. Our first batch of horseradish sold out in one day. Will have more available for market on Saturday.

I have been cleaning out the gardens and moving perennials while Pat has been feverishly siding the house. The house project was started in Spring, but the busy season always put it on the back burner. He is making great progress and should be completed before the snow flies.

Enjoy the sound of the leaves crunching as you walk......just as much fun as walking in puddles.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Horseradish and root vegetables.

The first batch of horseradish will be available Saturday, at the Saskatoon Farmers market. We have also been digging root vegetables, such as parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, beets, and leeks, which are available as well.

Life is still very busy out here, have started planting and moving perennials. Would like to get a lot of transplanting completed before freeze up. We will also begin cleaning out the gardens with the upcoming warm weather.

The leaves are starting to turn beautiful hues of yellow, orange and brown, and soon they will be dropping. We incorporate a lot of leaves into our soil. Have read several articles recently about the importance of mulching with leaves or tilling them into the soil. You can shred them with your lawn mower or leave them as they are and rake them onto your flower beds, and gardens. They contribute to the overall health and tilth of your soil, which in turn contributes to healthy and vigorous plants.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sad day at Mistik Acres.

Yesterday was a very sad day at Mistik Acres. We returned home from a holiday weekend to find rotten tomatoes in our garage. The late blight hit the tomato harvest. The picture we posted a few days ago of the tomatoes, is now but a few tubs. We really aren't expecting these will survive either, but you never know. As the saying goes there is always next year.

Jack Frost hit pretty hard on the weekend. Pretty much everything froze. There are a few flowers that may be available to cut for Saturday's market. The root crops will be sweeter now with the touch of frost. We will be digging leeks, carrots, beets, parsnips and rutabagas for Saturday. We will also have our peppers (green and hot), onions and gourds for sale.

We have posted a picture of the hanging amaranthus or Love Lies Bleeding and a sunflower head being enjoyed by our resident chickadees.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tomato harvest.

Today we included a picture of the tomato harvest. As you can see the tomato's liked the moisture as they outperformed last year's harvest. We will have Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes available for sale for the next few weeks.

Yesterday we dug all the potatoes, picked all the gourdes, pumpkins, squash and corn, and harvested all the decorative wheat. We will have to hang the wheat in the greenhouse to ripen as it just didn't want to ripen in the field. It sounds like tonight we will get a pretty good frost, so I am a bit sad, but yet a bit relieved as well. No more flowers to cut. It really was a fantastic year with the amount of rain we had. Our water tanks are all full and have been that way throughout the summer. Did not need to use any of the collected water. We will have to pump the water out of the tanks before it starts getting really cold.

The picture to the right is one of the gardens.
The castor beans enclosed an area where we had planted crocosmia, statice, scabiosa, cosmos, dahlia's, lilies and sunflowers. The garden reaches all the way as far as you can see green. This garden has all the perennials as well as lots of different annuals.
We are taking this weekend off and will not be attending the Saskatoon Farmer's Market. Will be back to the market Sat Sep 25.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bountiful harvest.

We had a touch of frost the last couple of nights, but not too much damage. The tomato plants fared the worst out of everything. Luckily we had picked them all throughout the week. The plants produced above and beyond our expectations. It looks like we avoided the blight.

We finished picking the peppers today and they really produced well. Some of the green pepper plants had as many as 10 large peppers hanging on. The jalapenos went wild and the Cayenne peppers did as well. The green peppers are very juicy and sweet this year due to the abundant moisture.
Once the frost hits a little harder the dahlia's will blacken and die. If you are wanting to save the tubers for next year's planting follow these simple steps.
Cut off the blackened tops and allow the tubers to stay in the ground for about 5-7 days. This allows new eyes to develop. Loosen the soil and carefully lift out the clumps of tubers. Wash off the soil and cut off the stalk at the base close to the tubers and set the cl;umps upside down on sheets of cardboard in the basement, or garage. You want them to dry but not shrivel. It could take 3 hours or 3 days depending on conditions. You want to keep the tubers dry (but not too dry), in the dark, at between 4 and 8 C. We store ours in peat moss in a cardboard box in our cold room. We check them midway throughout winter to make sure they are not too dry. If they are dry you can mist the peat moss. You can also use saw dust or vermiculite for packing. If you see any signs of rot remove those tubers from the storage boxes.
Mid April you can bring your tubers out of storage and plant into pots and you should be able to enjoy blooms by mid July.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brrrrrrrr feels like you know what.....

The plants are enduring the cold and wet temperatures the last few days. It doesn't seem to have an effect on the Dahlia's. They are producing lots of flowers right now and the colours are so intense and vibrant.

We have been harvesting vegetables for the past week and not nearly finished. We have the onions drying in the greenhouse, which seems to be the only place that is dry right now and the tomatoes we picked are ripening on sheets of plywood in our garage and quonset.

We have noticed in this cold and wet weather the bees are finding refuge tucked under flower petals. They do not move around at all when the weather is cold.

There have been a couple of articles written about Mistik Acres in the last couple of weeks. One was written as a vendor profile on the Saskatoon Farmers Market Newsletter by Penny McKinlay. You can subscribe to the newsletter through the market website http://www.saskatoonfarmersmarket.com/ or request a down loadable version at sfmnews@sasktel.net.

Another article was written on Penny McKinlay's blog at

The pictures we have posted today were taken by our daughter Mandy whom is a professional photographer. Her blog is http://www.mandyphotography.blogspot.com/ and her website http://www.memoriesbymandy.ca/.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Last week we had a couple of visitors to the farm, Penny and Isobel. Penny McKinlay is a freelance writer and has been hired by the Saskatoon Farmer's Market to help out with creating a newsletter. In the newsletter she plans on writing vendor profiles, so we invited her to come out. We took a tour of the gardens, which they enjoyed very much. I do not think they were expecting the abundance and varieties of flowers and vegetables we grow. We had a lot of fun and Peggy took lots of pictures. Have included some of them today and will post others in future posts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our daughter was visiting one day and snapped a few pictures of us harvesting flowers in early summer . Daisy, our grand puppy was tagging along.

The days are starting to get cooler and shorter (fallish) so we have been harvesting the garlic, onions and corn. We also are harvesting the herbs and starting the drying process.
We would like to share a recipe with you.
Tomato, Zucchini Stirfry
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups chopped Zucchini
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 large tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a skillet, melt butter, add onions and saute until transparent.
Add zucchini, salt, basil, pepper and parsley. Stirfry until zucchini is tender.
Add the tomatoes, stir for an additional 2 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover briefly, until cheese is melted.
Yield 6 servings.
We make this recipe at least once per week and highly recommend it.