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, June 24, 2011

Insects galore!

The rain is lightly falling and the temperature is warm....what a lovely summer morning.  We are really enjoying the abundance of birds singing their beautiful songs.  We have also noticed a huge increase in the insect populations.  The aphids are really multiplying, so hopefully the predatory insects will start balancing out the population.  This year we are planting a lot more Calendula and Angelica, which encourage beneficial insects.  Some of which are, minute pirate bugs for thrip control, syrphids for aphids, and micro-wasps that parasitize aphids.  There are a multitude of flies/wasps in various sizes, and colours.  The big yellow and black bumblebee population has exploded this year.  The raspberry patch right now is a very loud hum with the various bees and flying insects.  It looks like we will have a bumper crop of raspberries, if the amount of bees pollinating, is any indication.
Everything is growing vigorously with the rain and warm temperatures.  We will complete the last of the transplanting this week and then the harvesting begins.  Right now the peonies are being cut in the bud stage (feels soft like a marshmallow) and then wrapped and stored in the cooler out of water.  They are given a fresh cut and placed in warm water when needed for sales to the florists and at the Saskatoon Farmers Market. They keep in the cooler wrapped and out of water for about a month.  This greatly extends the peony season, as the flowers tend to all open within a couple of weeks.
We will have fresh lettuce and green onions this week at the market, as well as the perennials, succulents and tomatoes.  Fresh flowers will include the Peonies (Queen of all flowers), and small bouquets of Sweet Williams.  We have a couple of specials this week.  A decorative outdoor plant called Elephant Ears, grown for it's large, tropical looking foliage, which prefers part sun and likes to be kept moist.  On sale this week for $5.00, regular price $8.00, in gallon pots.  The peppers, ( Cayenne, Jalapeno, and Fat n' Sassy - sweet green) are buy one get one free.  So if you have any room on the deck for pots or space in the garden, stop by and try a couple of the specials.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rain delay!

Well, we have had a few days off at Mistik Acres due to the rain.  We did not receive ridiculous amounts like some areas of the province, about an inch and a quarter this past week.  So today we were planting in late afternoon once the soil dried a bit.  We normally wouldn't plant when the soil is as wet as it is, but would really like to have everything in the ground before the next rain comes on Friday.
Our grandchildren were visiting this week and enjoyed catching the frogs, and hunting for birds nests.  They were able to peek at a nest of baby robins in the quonset.  We started to cut peonies this week and had lots of help from Kristan (our 5 year old granddaughter).  She loves to pick flowers and put them in vases.

Enjoy the first days of summer.

Friday, June 17, 2011


These days it is all a hum in the gardens.  The cotoneasters are full of bumblebees, wasps and flies of all shapes sizes and colours right now.  You don't realize there are any flowers on the cotoneasters until you walk by and hear the bzzzzzzzzz and look a little closer.  Not too many flowers blooming in the gardens yet.  The peonies buds are starting to show colour and swelling, so we will be cutting next week.  The peony plants have grown larger this year than they have ever been and produced the most flower buds from previous years.  The florists mentioned to us that peonies are very popular this year for weddings, so should be able to meet the demand with this years crop.
Peony buds swelling and showing colour.

A storm passed through our area Wednesday evening which brought rain, strong winds and a small amount of hail.  It provided moisture to the newly transplanted plants, but did not cause any damage.  This week was a week of transplanting, transplanting, and more transplanting.  The dahlias, zinnias, crocosmias, tomatoes squash, amaranthus and others are planted.  The rain has stopped us for now, so we will continue next week once it has dried off.
Crocosmias newly planted.

The valley by one of the gardens is once again home to a mama deer , and assuming her baby (have not seen the fawn yet).  I was spending a fair bit of time in this garden transplanting this week and a couple of times mama deer would be in the valley looking up at me and snorting.  I believe she felt I was getting a little too close to baby, wherever it was in the tall grass, so was trying to get my attention and lure me away from the area.
The birds are very plentiful and busy.  The robins, bluebirds and sparrows are feeding young ones, while the tree swallows are still sitting on their eggs and the barn swallows are just building their nests.  There are a couple of pairs of Cedar Waxwings in the garden close to the house, so we are enjoying watching them this year.  They were here last year too, but were not real comfortable with us, so would dart away whenever we came near.  We also noticed a lot of our Trembling Aspens bluffs are being defoliated in the area.  Have not taken the time to identify the worm, but am assuming there will be plenty of moths for the birds to feed their young in a few weeks.
Today is harvest day for market, so Pat is busy picking onions, lettuce, spinach and maybe a few bunches of radishes again.  The radishes are crisp, tangy and full of moisture this year.  Our best crop since we have lived out here.  The lettuce is excellent this year, crisp and full of flavour.  We have a new variety this year called Jester which has flecks of burgundy throughout the leaves.  The picture is one of the lettuce patches.
The perennials will be plentiful again this weekend along with a few varieties of annual flowers.  Also available are the tomato, pepper, zucchini, and cucumber plants.
The perennial plant special this week is a Columbine called Miss M.I. Huish.  It produces double, spurless purple blooms, about 24" tall.  Tolerates part sun and is a prolific bloomer.  The annual plant special is the Foxy Foxglove, in a mix of pinks and off whites, which also does well in part to full sun.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First vegetables of the year.

Available at the market this Saturday will be spinach, lettuce, radish, onions and mint (for the start of mojito season).  The first vegetables of the season for Mistik Acres.  We have a good selection of perennials available, tomatoes, peppers and a few annuals.  We have another special this week in the plant department, which is the Crocosmia.  It is an annual grown from a corm, hardy to zone 5, so needs to be treated just like a gladiola corm.  We sell them planted in groups of 3 in a six inch pot.  They have been hardened off to the outdoors, so ready to be planted in the garden, flower beds or in a pot.  This weekend they are $5.00, regular price $7.00.  Below is a picture of the Crocosmia.

We have been busy this week transplanting the annual vegetables and flowers.  Planted about 100 dahlia's, (about another 100 to plant), amaranthus, perennials, lots of sunflowers, onions and more.  Not too much extra time to write this week so will keep the post short.  Hope to see you at the market.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sunday opening at the Saskatoon Farmers Market.

Planting is progressing along quite well.  We had some rain last weekend which really aided the germination of the seeds.  We started eating radishes, spinach and onions.  Nothing like a fresh vegetable from the garden.

Trollius (Orange Princess) blooming.

Started transplanting the new perennials I acquired this year, all great for cut flowers.  Some of which include the Chrysanthemum (Morden series, developed in Manitoba), Delphinium Blue Lace (New Millenium series),  False Indigo (perennial plant of the year for 2010), Yellow Cornflower and Russian Sage.  Another new perennial for us this year is pictured below.  The Itoh Peony Bartzella.  All of the perennials are available at the Saskatoon Farmers Market Saturday from 8-2 and new this year Sunday from 10-3.  We have approximately 50+ varieties of perennials jammed onto our display tables, including the Fernleaf Peony and a white, fragrant herbaceous peony.

A lot of the perennials I like to grow are drought tolerant, so once they are established they will require minimal watering.  Once established means for the first year growing in your garden you must, keep the plants well watered.  This means a really good drink every few days for the first couple of weeks and then once a week for the rest of the summer if it does not rain.  Once it has survived it's first winter there should be minimal supplemental watering needed.
The special this week at the Farmers Market is a perennial, Sedum Lidakense.  Compact, low mounds of tightly grouped blue-gray foliage with purple tinges along the edges.  Clusters of starry pink flowers in late summer, maturing to carmine-red.  Excellent rock garden addition.  Potted in gallon containers, regular price $8.00, this week Saturday and Sunday, $6.00.

Sedum Lidakense