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, February 28, 2011

Blustery day.

The wind is blowing and it's snowing and the temperature is very cold today. It looks like it will be another week of hanging out in the house as much as possible, as the forecast for the week is cold. In past years, starting the first week in March, we head out into the bush and harvest pussy willow. This year it will be postponed for at least a week or two, as the pussy willow are much easier to force when the weather has warmed up outside and they are starting to break dormancy. Will definitely need the snow shoes this winter as we have lots of snow in the area.
The cold weather also delayed my seed planting. We usually begin mid February for some flowers and herbs that are slower growing, but I only started planting yesterday. We planted Rosemary, Sweet William's, Foxy Foxgloves, and the Castor Beans. Today I am going to pot up the tubers and bulbs I overwintered, such as Dahlia's, Calla Lily's and Colcocasia Esculenta (Elephant Ears). This is my first year I have overwintered the Elephant Ears and am very pleased with how well they did. Almost all of them are starting to form new shoots. Will have those available for Spring sales at the Market. We start everything in the house until the weather is consistently warmer outside, so when you walk into our house right now the first thing you smell is dirt. I guess a gardener would only appreciate that smell in their house. But it is another smell that brings back many fond memories.
The wildlife is very active around here right now. We see lots of deer and coyotes. Also had a porcupine hang around the farm for a couple of weeks recently. One day while in the house, movement outside caught my eye, so I looked out the window and saw a deer running down the road past our farm and about 100 yards behind the deer, a coyote was running trying to catch up to the deer. I wonder who won the race. There also was one coyote in our garden by the pasture whom was trying to catch the magpies and crows. This was very comical to watch.

A pelican posing for pictures in California.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sign of Spring!

On my commute home from Saskatoon on Thursday Feb 24, much to my delight I saw my first real sign that Spring is on it's way. A beautiful large bald eagle flying very low near the highway by a small town called Smuts. I just hope it was able to find a warm place to wait out this cold weather we are experiencing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter travels.

In January we travelled to California for a winter holiday. We really enjoyed our trip, travelling through the desert and the central coast. We travelled to a lot of really interesting towns and cities and did a lot of sightseeing. We visited lots of Farmer's Markets, botanical gardens and beaches. We also visited the Salad Bowl capital of the world, the valley around the town of Salinas. There were fields and fields of lettuce, as well as broccoli in this area. We came across many orchards of grapes, nuts and fruit trees. All meticulously groomed and irrigated.

In the urban areas most of the landscaping utilized succulents and cacti of all shapes and sizes. Recognized a lot of the varieties we grow here, except they were usually much larger. Some of the blooms of the plants were spectacular. I have included a couple of pictures from one of the botanical gardens we visited, a young lady all dressed up in succulents.

Isn't her hair fabulous.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Butterfly Flower.

We will continue writing plant profiles of the plants we will have available to purchase in May. Today we are profiling "Asclepias tuberosa". A prized perennial hardy to Zone 3-9 with vibrant orange flowers which are long lasting, blooming early to mid summer. Does best in full sun, growing from 1-3 feet. Prefers drier and well drained soil and is a magnet for butterflies. The seed pods that develop can be dried and used in floral arrangements. They should be picked and dried while still green. Very late to come up in Spring, and the plants once established, do not like to be transplanted and should be allowed to naturalize.
This plant is the primary food source of the adult and juvenile Monarch butterfly, and is often included in butterfly gardens.
During our travels this winter we visited an area in California called Pismo Beach along the central coast, where thousands of Monarch butterflies spend their winters among the eucalyptus trees. We have included a couple of photos. The first photo shows them hanging with their wings folded, like clusters of grapes.