Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Big Planting Day

It was a nice overcast day so we figured we'd get some planting done while the weather was nice. We finished of planting all of the winter squash in Iran (Front field). Mounds are best for nutrient and water retention as well as for helping controlling the growth of the plants. Iran will also be where we plant our cucumber and pumpkin so we dug the mounds today even though planting won't be for a few weeks as a means of helping with weed control. Wheeling the fertilizer down was a challenge as we had a very flat tire on our wheelbarrow. 
 We also planted some things in Mozambique today. In two drills we planted roughly equal parts Arcadia and Gypsy broccoli and some cauliflower, the last of which was a bit of an experiment. Here is a picture of Sydney working in some of our crabmeal which we got today and can now incorporate into the rest of the field. The final photo is Erik's attempt at being the crab on the bad of crabmeal.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rainy Days!

So the forecast is not looking fun for all the planting we were hoping to get done this week. We have our map done of where things are going to be going and Sydney has drawn up the planting schedule. Looks like tomorrow will be a wet day of planting squash in the Iran field and preparing the soil for the broccoli and cauliflower. In other news, we got our crabmeal which we'll be applying within the next couple of days! Hooray!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Herb Garden!

To our surprise, we discovered that the herb garden from last year is still going strong. Oregano, thyme, sage, and chives are all looking healthy. As perennials, these plants will come up every year as long as we are careful not to over-harvest them.

This is Erik's attempt at an artsy photo of the chives. More artsy photo attempts to come.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Planting Onions

Today we did our first planting of yellow onions, after cleaning out the shed and getting our water hooked up. We prepared the beds by applying pelletized chicken manure and raking it into the ground. After five hours of scooching our butts along the ground as we planted, we finished 2.5 beds of onions!

Forecast for the next two days isn't looking too promising, so we'll wait and see if we can get out again tomorrow for more planting, or if we are delayed by rain.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fields are Ready

The fields are finally ready for planting! There are three main sections of field that we will be planting this summer: 2 acres of potatoes (Gold Rush, Superior, Norland), a half acre of Cucurbitaceae (winter squash, pumpkin, cucumber), and an acre of mixed vegetables. This is a bit later in the season than most farms would be ready, as it took a while to coordinate access to equipment. But we are happy to finally have the opportunity to get our hands dirty!

Half Acre (nickname - Iran):

 Full Acre (nickname - Mozambique):

Two Acres (nickname - Colombia): 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tomato Seedlings

Today the tomato seedlings were planted. Varieties were Scotia, Golden Cherry, Tiny Tim, and Black Cherry. Since we lack greenhouse access, the 30 tomato trays are currently in the windows of Cuthbertson House. They were planted a little behind schedule, but we are hoping that the transplants will be big enough to be planted by mid June. Good thing the forecast is for sun!

Here are the trays in Cuthbertson:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who's Who

Michelle Strain Michelle Strain - Director, Administrative Services. The brains behind the operation, Michelle oversees the Farm and its relationship with Dining Services. She has extensive gardening experience and knows how to grow a vegetable or two. Her main goal this summer is to convince Chef Tom that vegetables are good for him... and that kale can be delicious! Please send your favorite kale recipe to to help us out!

John Killoran - Farm Manager. John grew up on a potato farm and has many years experience working in agriculture. This is John's second summer managing the farm. He and his wife are the Dons of Hunton House. He is eager to improve the yield and productivity of the farm this season.

Sydney Bliss - Senior Farmer. From Sackville, Sydney is currently in the second year of her Biology degree at MTA. She has two summers of experience growing mixed vegetables as a founding member of the CSA Dave's Produce Packs in Hampton, NB. She is excited this year to join the MTA Farm and contribute to its success.

Erik Fraser - Junior Farmer. Originally from Halifax, Erik recently graduated with Honours in Environmental Studies from MTA. Although he has little farming experience, he has been involved with the Sackville Community Garden for many years and is eager to make the transition into larger scale farming. Erik has broken his nose three times and hopes that this year will not bring a fourth break.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Welcome to the MTA Farm blog! This blog will follow the happenings of the MTA farm throughout the summer and fall growing seasons, as we grow a variety of mixed vegetables to be used by the MTA dining services. We will be posting updates on what's happening at the farm, photos, and great opportunities to come out and visit or volunteer.