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, September 30, 2011

Reflection of the past growing season.

As I write this blog post on the last day of September I find myself reflecting on another growing season that has come to an end, even though the weather feels like summer.  In terms of weather I think this past summer has been one of the best in the last seven years we have been tending to the gardens.  One thing I really noticed this year was the lack of wind.  Most years we usually have lots and lots of days with strong winds, whereby this year has been relatively calm most of the time.  The rains came at the right times and all in all it was a very productive year.  It was a year of a few firsts for us...first year we made large quantities of flower bouquets for sales at the Farmer's Market, which was a huge success.  We would set up Sat morning with a large number of bouquets already made and they would disappear very quickly, so I found myself making bouquets throughout the entire day, so there would be lots of selection for our customers to choose from.  It was the first time we had a picture published in the Western Producer, of our flower display at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.  Thanks again Mickey.  The picture included in today's blog was also taken by Mickey.
This year was a record year for the amount of weddings we supplied flowers.  They all varied in the quantity and type etc, but we received great feedback from them all.  The following quote is from Krista, whom was married in Regina at the beginning of September.  We created thirty nine centrepieces for their wedding.

"I know I've already thanked you, but I wanted to let you know that the feedback we received on your flowers was out of this world. People couldnt say enough and were fighting to take them home at the end! I've had several friends post pictures on facebook labeling them the "prettiest flowers in the world".  They really added to our already perfect day! My aunt even brought some home to my Grandma in Nova Scotia who is quite sick...on Monday...and said they lasted beautifully and totally brightened her day!" Krista

Another first, we had a bumper crop of Saskatoon berries from a natural stand of berry bushes beside our house.  This year was also a record year for raspberry production, and we will be selling frozen raspberries this fall at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.  

We are looking forward to next year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Western Producer.

September 22nd's edition (page 82) of the Western Producer published a photo of our flower display at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market. Thanks Mickey Watson for taking the time to photograph the display and then submitting them to the Producer.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.....

Want to share our experience with roasting tomatoes.  We are preserving tomatoes for the first time this way, and we are really enjoying them.  The tomatoes are the Tumbler variety and the picture above is before they went into the oven and the picture below is after they have been roasted.  The process is simply halving the tomatoes and laying them cut side up on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over them, and season with salt and pepper.  Place in a 300F oven and roast for 2 hours.  I placed two cookie sheets in the oven together and they roasted up just fine.  They can be frozen or stored in the fridge for a short time.  I guarantee they will not last too long.  They are wonderfully sweet and go great with a tangy cheese, (goat cheese is my favourite) or eaten right out of the oven.

With our next batch of large ripe tomatoes we are going to roast them at 200F for 10-12 hours, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  They also can be frozen for future use.

With the unseasonably warm temperatures we are going to do some painting on the house, something we just couldn't find the time to do this summer.  We have been digging out the plant material in the gardens and will let them dry for a little while and then we will shred them and incorporate into the soil along with alfalfa straw.
Last week just before the frost hit we had a group of students from the Saskatoon School of Horticulture visit the farm.   We gave them tours of the gardens and talked a lot about the various flowers we grow and cut for fresh cuts.  We enjoyed having them visit, and hope they will make this an annual trek with next years group of students.

Tomorrow I am going to dig a few peonies roots for sales at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.  Fall is the best time to transplant perennials that bloom in the Spring.  There will be roots from the white, burgundy and pink peonies.  They will have to be planted within a few days, as I am not potting up the roots.  This way you will get a larger root mass which will in turn be a healthier transplant and they will produce flowers a lot sooner.  We will also have the remaining perennials, that are potted up, at reduced prices along with the succulent sale, buy one get one free.  Vegetables will include tomatoes, green and cooking onions, leeks, and horseradish root.  Dried herbs available are, Basil, Oregano and Catnip.  We have been making dried flower arrangements with the various flowers we have dried throughout the summer.  Those will be available along with golden dried wheat.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frost hit hard.

So, Tuesday night it all came to an end for us.  The frost hit so hard, our thermometer recorded -11C.   Nothing was spared.  We had covered quite a few dahlia's in hopes of it being a mild frost, but the covers were no match for -11C.  The flowers are limp and lifeless.  We certainly were not ready for the flower season to end so abruptly, as we had a fantastic summer for flower production.  So now the cleanup begins.  The weather looks like it is going to stay nice for a while so it will be pleasant working in the gardens.  We will dig all the corms and tubers we want to save for next year and start shredding the dead foliage and incorporating it into the soil along with leaves and the barley mulch.
We made our first batch of salsa this evening, using the tomatoes and peppers that we harvested, and the house smells wonderful.  Tomorrow we will make leek and potato soup with our produce. The carrots, leeks and beets are still in the ground and will be harvested at a later date.  Unfortunately I think our entire celery patch froze.  Will take a closer look in the next couple of days and see if we can salvage any of it.  We really enjoyed using the green celery that we grew, but the red celery variety was quite tough and stringy.
This weekend at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market we will have a few fresh flowers that I had picked before the frost hit, but I will be making dried flower bouquets and will have those available for the next few weeks.  We are going to bring some perennials that are still in pots, which will be price reduced and I also potted up some more succulents, so lots of selection available for the two for one sale.
The vegetable selection this week is green onions, cooking onions, tomatoes, leeks, and garlic along with dried herbs.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wedding flowers.

The pictures are bouquets that we created from the flowers we grow naturally here at Mistik Acres.  They are for a wedding in Regina and will be placed in mason jars and used as the table centrepieces.  
The hatchback loaded  and ready to head of to Regina.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another milestone.

This is the 100th post for us and we wanted to thank everyone for checking in from time to time to read about what is happening at Mistik Acres.  Hope you will continue to visit our blog.
Can you believe this weather????  I am sure you are all thinking this same phrase.  What a fantastic week it has been.  The plants are quite enjoying the warm weather we have been having.  We are making sure they are well watered and they are rewarding us with blooms and vegetables.  We have already received a slight touch of frost in some areas of a couple of the gardens.  Nothing to kill the plants or prevent them from producing their blooms or vegetables.  Will keep our fingers crossed for warm nights for the next few weeks.

We had a celebration of harvest with many of our family members at the farm this past weekend.  Everyone had a tour of the gardens and then enjoyed a meal of harvested vegetables from the garden.  The rest of the week has been one of our busiest weeks, in regards to flower harvesting, so far this year.  We delivered flowers to the city florists twice this week and also supplied dahlias to a bride to be this week.  Today I harvested flowers and put together 39 bouquets for table centerpieces for another wedding in Regina.  Tomorrow we start all over again in preparation for the Farmer's Market on Saturday.  All the flowers are still going strong, responding to cutting and sending out new blooms for us to harvest.
With this warm weather the garlic and onions have dried quickly.  We have cleaned them up and they are ready for sales and winter storage.  We continue to harvest  lots of tomatoes, bumper crop this year.  We will have ripe tomatoes available at the Farmer's Market this Saturday along with horseradish root.  We will wait for cooler temperatures before we make prepared horseradish.

We will have a large assortment of ready made bouquets along with our vegetables this weekend at the Farmer's Market.  We are once again offering our succulents, buy one get one free.  We have been selling lots every week, but will continue to offer the sale till they are all gone.
Enjoy the wonderful weather.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flower cutting frenzy.

The beginning of September is once again proving to be a busy time.  Along with the vegetable harvesting, the flower harvesting really kicks into gear and we go strong from now till freeze up.  The florists are very busy, which makes us very busy and we are also supplying flowers for a few local weddings in September, which is fun.  Today we had a bride-to-be stop at the farm and she picked sunflowers for her wedding this weekend.    
Frost could arrive any day, so we will make the best of it while we can.  Most of the birds are hanging around the area yet, so that may be an indication of warm weather continuing.
The tomatoes are ripening quickly and we pick a good pail full every day.  If we leave the tomatoes on the vine too long when they are ripe, we then have to share them with the gophers and squirrels.  They also enjoy tasting vine ripened tomatoes.
If you are planning on planting perennials in the fall, you should complete the task by the end of September.  This way the roots have time to get settled into the soil before the ground freezes.
Happy harvesting.