For the ‘greater good’, all seedy events have been cancelled for this year. But do not despair! We are still here and working hard to get everyone’s seed orders to them come hell or high water!
You can order online at our shopify page, now that I have it sort of set up, but not all products are listed there, as it is somewhat time consuming to list all of our 450+ varieties, so download the catalogue on the main page, print off the order form and call me if you have any questions about availability at 780-785-2622. email is still the best way to send your order, and we can do payments with etransfers. Smileyo at xplornet dot ca. I write it out this way to avoid spam web bots. We will persevere.
If you are ordering bulk potatoes, one or two orders of 1 kg size will ship separately from the seeds at a cost of $17.00. Any more than that might be more and you should contact me for information. Especially if you are not in Alberta. All seed orders over 5-7 packages of flat type of seeds will be shipped at the $14.95 costing, as more materials, time and shipping is applicable. Seed packets of 5-7 flat items are $3 shipping and handling. Contact us if you are unsure.
Live plants will be delivered for a charge or available for Pick up at our farm store in May/June. We have all the mints listed; apple, ginger, orange, peppermint, Mohito (spearmint) mint, and chocolate peppermint. We are seeding peppers, tomatoes and eggplants now with some bedding plants including dahlias. We may have extra flowers for bedding plants also, and potted strawberries. The mints are $5 each as will be the strawberries. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are $4 for a 4 inch pot, $6 for a 6″ potted plant.
We have had a lot of orders for Jerusalem Artichokes, so we may be sold out, depending on what the spring brings and what is down there overwintering. IT was very wet going into the fall, and so many might have succumbed to disease. We will wait and see and post the results and availability some time at the end of April.
If you are a greenhouse or market gardener requiring Organic seeds, we can provide you with a Non-GMO affidavit and statement of organic seeds as needed.
Wishing you all a great spring and continued prosperity,
So we have sold out of the following tomatoes: Bulls Heart Oxheart, Black Oxheart, Lutescent Peas: Bolero and Olympia, Edna’s Russian, Golden Sweet, Magnolia Purple, Beans: Neckar Konigin pole, Herronbohnli pole, Limelight, Red Valentine, Blue Jay (though we have Oma’s) Favas – Black fava, and Kabouli Black chickpea, Jubilee and Masterpiece NOTE: Golden Beets and Touchstone Gold beets should be $3.50 and not $2.50 Carrots: No more Scarlet Nantes (though Nantes 1/2 longs are just as good or Bolero), out of Shorty Mix, Spectrum Blend, and Nash’s Rhumba Corn – out of Golden Bantam for this year. Returning next. Whipples White, Strawberry Popcorn, and Field of Dreams Cucumbers – out of Double Yield Herbs – out of Spearmint but have plants for $5. Same for Rhodiola. Lettuce – out of the following: Red Blend, Black Hawk, Cracoviensis, Grandpa Admires, Marvel of 4 Seasons, Rouge D’Hiver. Peppers – Large Bell Mix, Doe Hill, Czeck Black Squash – Jack O’Lantern Medley, Winter Mix, Squash Mix, Ambassador, Japanese Black Chard – Orange and Bright Lights are sold out. Tomatillo – Sold out of Aunt Molly’s Tomatoes – as above and Ildi, Oxheart Giant, Black Icicle, Russian Heart. Trees – One package left of Mandy’s Huckleberry
I am also sold out of Climbing Nastirtiums, but Golden Gleams is similar. And small Black Seeded Sunflower is gone.
As we mentioned we sell out fast, so if you come to the seed sales you will still find lots to look at but always best to email your order in for pick up if you are wanting something special guaranteed.
Also my friend in Lac La Biche has Red Norlands, Gold Rush (a russet kind and not related to Yukon Gold, sorry), and Warba’s. Other potatoes are not available until 2020 in the fall.
Any tomato, pepper, eggplant, or other bedding plant orders are due by March 15 to ensure availability of what you want and other than that I will have a year end greenhouse plant pop up sale at the end of May, beginning of June. Stay tuned for that or visit https://hillanddalefarm.wordpress.com
As you know, these events are integral to the support of local seed movements in Canada. We and other growers look forward to this time of year to meet you all face to face and get your feedback on our products and services, not to mention just greet you all. However, as you can imagine, these events (hopefully, with your help) attract a lot of people and we do not have as much time as we would like to help each and every one of you. If you have specific questions about the varieties that we offer that are not clear in the catalogue please email me ahead as I can better give your questions the time and attention they need.
Our staff at events are friends and family that come out to help with the volume of sales we do during these events. They are not as involved with the day to day growing as I am and so that is also something you should be aware of. We are a small business, and everyone is busy. I encourage you to get ahold of us ahead of these shows with questions or orders, so we can bring them with us already organized. It will save you a lot of time and hassle. Potato orders are a must, as I have limited space in the car to bring spuds and keep them safe from freezing temperatures. They are also heavy and so I do not bring them if I don’t have to.
As always, Comfrey, horseradish, and asparagus roots, as well as Jerusalem Artichokes are available only after the ground thaws. I may or may not be able to have them in March at the shows. You are welcome to ask ahead, but expect to have them shipped if spring is slow. We also will have gladiolas bulbs this year in some great colors, see our catalogue for details (if we do not sell out before the shows).
We are offering on farm courses as always in the summer of 2020 if we are not super busy with the u-Pick, so stay tuned or visit the Hill and Dale farm site on wordpress for further details.
In 2020 we will add a strawberry and Vegetable U-Pick. Being our first year, we are not sure about the volume of berries that might come by June. I have a deep concern not to disappoint anyone, especially if travelers are coming from farther away. I would ask everyone to follow along the Hill and Dale Farm site for postings, as we might have to set up picking the first year on an appointment basis. We will keep you posted on the site https://hillanddalefarm.wordpress.com
2019 Wraps up as a year to remember in many ways. The weather was gloomy and raining mostly, low temperatures for much of the long days of summer. Not much for growing things, but then, we take what we get and always with a mind to the future. Many things grew abundantly and well. It was well loved by spinach, being planted in June and harvested all the way through to September without ever bolting (a first in my years of gardening here), and the brassicas in general loved the cool damp weather. And yet, some things happened that should not have, such as still having ample grasshoppers to devour whatever tender plants they could wrap their mandibles around. Usually the damp weather gives them a fatal fungal infection, but not this year! Weird.
We enjoyed the warm days when they came and grew the majority of our garden under row covers throughout the year and into the fall. Many things did well, but none of the hot weather crops faired well. Cucumbers, or any other squashes, tomatoes and peppers, basil, etc. suffered at the hand of mother nature or human intervention in the weather (yet to be determined). But we took what we could get and here we are. Thankful, joyful and looking forward to another growing season!!
We hope you will stay tuned as we update the page further, adding in the new additions and the catalogue. We will as always be referring you to our sister site Hill and Dale Farms, where in 2020 we will be expanding our farm fresh delivery options and farm workshops and events. We are hoping to become a destination of peace and tranquility for those wishing for a little more of that in the life of hectic pace and roiling progress. In the meantime, love and laughter to you and yours in the holidays to come, and in 2020 and beyond.
Join us as we showcase Local Farmers and Food Artisans at the George Pegg Botanic Gardens in Glenevis Alberta, August 17 from 9 to 4 at our Rural Roots Farmer Showcase event as part of Alberta Open Farm Days. We are super excited about finally pulling this all together. Imagine, a beautiful garden outdoor market where you can come and meet the people who grow the food and get to know them, see how they operate and what they are about, learning about Agriculture in Alberta, it’s challenges and rewards, and the dedicated individuals who make it work. Learn about one of our pioneer plant botanists, and visit the local vendors market, where you will want to pick up all kinds of goodies. Rain or shine we will offer local food, frozen meat items and products, fresh garden grown produce and sourdough breads. We have an artisan baker who will bring her mobile cobb oven for some incredible fresh baked pizzas and other delights. We have a coffee efficianado, who blends and roasts coffees in her home in Edmonton, and you can experience all the other wonders of farming history at George Pegg Gardens. Stay tuned, as we will regularly update you on what we are offering and who is coming.
Also that weekend is the local fair at Darwell, just a hop skip away from us and they have their annual tractor pull happening as well. If you are interested, you can find more details on our Facebook page, under Rural Roots Farmer Showcase. We are also having a culinary event that you will not want to miss in the evening. We have managed to snag the enthusiastic brother sister duo of Brad and Cindy Lazarenko of Culina To Go and formerly at the Muttart Conservatory. They are super excited about having this local farmer long table dinner event, but you have to have a ticket. We are offering this event through Eventbrite soon, so stay tuned. The dinner will feature cocktails and a cash bar featuring the Bent Stick Distillery and Black Diamond Brewing.
To those who have gotten hold of us about starter plants, thank you. We will have your plants ready to pick up after the long weekend is May. We may have extras at that time, so call if you are interested or email. We will also have some at the markets early. Hope all of you are enjoying the spring weather, and looking forward to another whirlwind summer. Have fun and be safe,
Just finalizing details on workshops for the upcoming season;
Some of you expressed interest in coming out and helping with the greenhouse and planting or taking care of the garden this summer. I am opening it up to all helpers. We will have a help in the greenhouse day, and several planting and gardening days. This year we are growing organic vegetables that are on offer for pickup in Edmonton weekly. You can buy a share and pay week to week. See Birch Island Foods at gmail dot com for details. Website: birchislandfoods dot ca
Greenhouse helpers day – bring a bag lunch and come help transplant in the greenhouse for the morning, afternoon or all day. Limited space, contact me via email if you are interested. This will happen Starting April 28, May 4, May 11, and then we will see. We will also be building some temporary greenhouses, hoop houses and preparing garden beds.
Planting workshops will be May 18, May 25 and June 1, 8, and 15. We will be teaching about planting transplants, care and maintenance of the garden, mulching beds, and planting the fields, which you might be able to glimpse and partake of also. We will be putting on the floating row covers, and tending the garlic and potato beds. Participants will be able to take home fresh veggies and possibly plants for their own gardens.
We will also host participants through the summer on Saturday afternoons for help with garden maintenance in exchange for fresh produce or beef. Give us a call or email smileyo at xplornet dot ca if you are interested in any of these dates, and I will put your name in. We have limited space and it is for a few hours so we would like to know who is coming so all our weekends are not tied up and no one shows up. Thanks to all who are passionate about gardening and want to know more about organic growing of large scale produce, heirloom seed production or farming.
We also have one position open for a summer helper. It is not paid but we could do an exchange for a garden spot if you are interested. I have one who is, but if you are interested, please email me anyway.
We are also planning a mushroom hunt and walk for June 1 in the morning, just to have a quick look around and see if anything is showing up yet. Email if you want to combine that with the afternoon in the garden. Fee is $20.
Our fall mushroom hunts will be August 24 and 31. They will be here in Cherhill. Some of you emailed about getting me out to your location. Just send me a quick reminder and we will figure out dates for that. Fall hunts are $20 per person.
Our herb walk and tincture day will be August 10. Fee is $50 and it is all day education about wild plants and medicinal uses. You must register in advance. It is a potluck and we will do it weather be darned.
OUR SUPERFANTASTIC Alberta Open Farm Days event called the Rural Roots Farmer Showcase is happening August 17, at the George Pegg Botanic Garden!! We are so excited to be part of this first Annual Local food event in the County of Lac Ste Anne and we will be showcasing local food and farmers during the hours of 9 AM to 4 PM. All local farmers with products, food, anything wonderful will be there for you to meet, and learn about where your food is coming from and what their philosophy is on their farms. We will have local beer and or wine, crafts, art and musicians, and it will be a wonderful time to experience local delicacies. In the evening from 5-9 we close the garden as it is a ticketed LOCAL FOOD EXTRAVAGANZA CULINARY EXPERIENCE!! Local chefs with extensive experience will work with local farmers fresh items to prepare the meal of the century! It will be a dining experience to remember under the open skies and fantastic surroundings of one of the oldest, most unique gardens in Alberta. A best kept secret. Tickets are limited to 50 and are $100 each. If you are interested, you must get a hold of us early. Call 780 seven eight five, 2622.
I am thinking of hosting a preservation workshop for canning and freezing and drying of fresh produce for long term storage. This will be informal but at a commercial kitchen in the local hall. So there will be a full day workshop, and you will have to bring a canner, jars and whatever you want to preserve. We will cover pickles, jam, jelly, fresh fruit, vegetables in season and kale chips probably. We might even do relish. I would bring in a seasoned professional with me and it will be limited space, only 15 participants. The fee for the day is $50 to cover hall rental and educational materials and recipes. Please email me early as this always fills up. We will host this in July on the 20th if the hall is available.
Also on July 24 in the afternoon of the mushroom walk, we will have a workshop on beginner seed saving, so people can take a walk in the garden and learn about pollinating by hand (melons and squashes), see the plants in various stages of seed development and help with some harvest of early things (lettuce). It is an awesome time to be in the garden and in the world. Space limited to 10. This course will be $25. We will host another in September on the 7th and 14th when there are more hands on things to do. Again, these are $25.
We may host some final gardening workshops in late August and early September where helpers can take home fresh produce in exchange for help with the harvesting and clean up of the gardens. If you are interested, call or email.
We will do a final seed harvesting workshop in October. TBA.
I hope everyone has a great season, and makes this the year to learn about all those things that are important to you and that you actually take the time for you!!