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, April 27, 2011

Spring activities.

It is starting to feel more and more like winter is behind us now.  The weather is warming, and every day we take note of different birds that have returned.  The Sandhill Cranes are back in large numbers again, hundreds of them.  It is such a grand site to see and hear them.  Reminds you that we are but a mere speck in this world of nature and there are much grander things going on around you.  The hawks are abundant, sitting on their posts waiting to spot movement of their next meal.  Two pairs of Rose Finches were feeding on the lilac seeds and the Northern Flicker is busy combing the ground for ants and other insects.  The Tree Swallows have also returned as of yesterday and there is one Killdeer hanging around the yard.  Have not seen a second one as of yet.
The ground is drying quickly in the gardens and a lot of the perennials are sending out new growth.  We are planning on sowing a few lettuce and radish seeds in a patch of ground in front of our house today.  Anticipating the rewards.
We had a great Easter weekend with family and friends.  Went on a road trip to our hometown and enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by Pat's mother.  Easter Monday our children and grandchildren spent the day with us here on the farm.  We had a busy day of making sausage, going for walks in the pasture, throwing rocks in the slough, and flying a kite.  The most fun was the Easter egg hunt for Kristan and Jeremy, our grandchildren.  This year some of the easter eggs had a clue inside, to send them in the direction of the next egg.  Jeremy whom is two did not really understand other than he enjoyed picking up the eggs and putting them in his basket, but Kristan whom is five, loved the clues and was so excited.  We had a lot of fun with them.

Monday, April 18, 2011


The Crocosmia is grown from a corm, native to South Africa.  It is a cousin of the Gladiola and part of the Iris family.  We have been growing them now for about five years and really enjoy them.  The corm is hardy to zone 5 - 7, so they have to be lifted in the fall and stored for the winter.  We treat them exactly like our gladiola corms, lifting the corms after frost has killed the foliage, allowing them to dry and storing in an onion sack hanging from the roof of our cold room.
They are great for cut flowers growing to 3' tall, with sword like foliage.  They require full sun.  Throughout the years growing the crocosmia, we found they do best in our climate, if they are started in pots in March.  This gives them a head start in the growing season and therefore they flower earlier.  When planted directly in the garden, the plants may not have enough time to produce flowers, if we have an early frost.  So we plant 3 bulbs in a 5-6" pot and once all danger of frost is past we plant them in the garden.
This year we have extra corms that we will be offering for sale through the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.  They will be available beginning the 2nd week of May.  We will have two varieties, Lucifer and Emberglow.

Emberglow - burning glow of orange, very prolific

Lucifer - large tomato red flowers, excellent for pots and cuts.

If you have a little bit of extra room in your garden, try them, you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Greenhouse open for another year.

Since the weather has warmed we decided, to haul a couple of truck loads of plants to the greenhouse.  We usually open the greenhouse around this time of  year, some years a bit earlier, depending on how warm the weather is.  For now we have taken out perennials and annuals that tolerate colder temperatures.  As the weather gets warmer we will start taking out all the plants.  They settled in very nicely appreciating the sunshine.

 Brunnera Mac. Jack Frost doing very well.

 Hosta plants sending out new shoots.

Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterfly plant) and Daylily (Lavender Blue Baby)

Today I decided to take a look at the Hen and Chick rock garden and I must say they survived the winter with flying colours.  There is no sign of winter damage and hopefully tonight will be the last really cold night they have to contend with.  They may succumb to some winter kill this evening without the snow cover and the temperature dipping to double digits. I will start harvesting them to plant in the hypertufa planters along with the other varieties of succulents we have this year. 
The perennials are eager to get growing this year.  On my way to the rock garden I checked out the perennials and I was really surprised to see a lot of them sending up new growth already.  A few days ago there was still snow on most of the perennials.  The Fern Leaf Peony, Daylily's, Yarrow, Delphiniums and a few others were sending up new shoots.  
The birds are starting to return.  The Bluebirds and Juncos were the first to arrive, then we saw a couple of Robins, Northern Harrier Hawk and today we spotted the Sandhill Cranes.  We anticipate the cranes every year as they arrive in large numbers (hundreds of them), stopping to feed before heading further north.  A small number of cranes spend the entire summer in the area.
This weekend is our first Saturday back to the Farmers Market in Saskatoon.  We will have a fresh supply of cut pussy willow, available in tall bunches for floor vases and small short bunches for tabletop vases.
We will also display a few succulents and hypertufa containers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Another week has passed since our last post and a lot has been going on out here.  The sun has been shining and the weather has warmed and the snow is melting at a fairly rapid pace.  There is still a lot of snow to melt but every day we are seeing more and more brown.
We have been busy planting, planting and more planting.  We received one of our stock orders this week with all the dahlia tubers.  It took a couple of days to get them all planted, but they are nestled in the warm garage busy sending shoots up out of the dirt.  We will have nine different colours this year, some new varieties and some old favourites.  Will go into more detail about those at a later post.
We seeded all the tomatoes yesterday.  Will have a couple of new varieties this year along with the reliable favourites.  We decided to plant some varieties that mature early, as the threat of the late blight may be a problem again.  The varieties we will have available for spring planting are:
Lemon Boy - low acid, producing yellow fruit, matures in 50 days
Bush Early Girl - compact plants with large fruit, matures 54 days
Prairie Pride - abundant, flavourful, medium sized fruit on sturdy compact plants, developed at the University of Manitoba, matures 55 days.
Tumbler - produces loads of 2" fruit, great for planting in pots, matures 60 days.
Cherry Sunsugar - unique golden colour, producing lots of cherry sized, very sweet fruit, matures 60 days.  Tried this tomato for the first time last year and we love it.
Mama Mia - meatier, firmer fleshed, great for salsa, and sauce, matures 60 days.
Bush Beefstake - heirloom variety, produces lots of 8oz fruit on a compact bushy plant, matures 62 days.
Big Beef Hybrid - our all time favourite, old-time flavour, good fruit size and very heavy yielding, staking variety, matures 70 days.
Roma- bush plant, paste variety, great for salsa and sauce, matures 80 days.
If you are interested in a particular variety, please let us know and we can set them aside for you, as some varieties will be in short supply.  If you experienced blight on your tomato plants last year, plant your tomatoes in another location in your garden, this growing season.
The celery seedlings are doing great.  Have never planted them before so really looking forward to observing them grow this year and harvesting the crop.  Garden grown celery has a strong wonderful flavour unlike anything you buy in the grocery store.

This month we started to consign our hypertufa planters at The Willow Studio downtown.  The address is 148 2nd Ave. N.  They have them on display with their outdoor garden furniture.  If you have never visited their store, I highly recommend to take the time to stop in.  They carry a lot of unique products you won't find elsewhere, to decorate your home inside and out.
Happy Spring!