Many said it just couldn’t be done in Niagara. Along with the problem of pests, we have such humid conditions that promote mildew and rot. But at Rumar Farm it is very important that we figure out how to grow them and provide our community with fresh organic fruit.
First, it starts with healthy soil and trees. When you keep your trees very healthy and give them what they need, they will build up natural defence mechanisms. We use cover crops and green manure to nourish the soil and in the spring, apply barrel compost and biodynamic preparations 500 and 501 which builds top soil and promotes healthy trees.
One of the biggest pests to peaches is Oriental Fruit Moth that originated in the Orient and is now found all over the world. We use Pheromone emitters called Isomates that we hang on the lower branches of the trees which disrupts their mating behavior and significantly reduces their population. We prune the trees to provide lots of airflow and ensure maximum access to the sun for ripening. Once the fruit start forming, we spray it with Kaolin clay that coats the fruit and makes it unpleasant for stinging pests. Early in the season we go through our orchard and thin the fruit removing any peaches that are damaged leaving only the very best for sizing and ripening. When they are ready, we go through and hand pick the largest allowing the other fruit to continue sizing and ripening. All the fruit is carefully sorted into number one (CSA and sales), number two (at a reduced price for canning and baking) and number three (our staff and we eat with a knife). Any that are just not good enough for consumption goes to our chickens. They love them too.
This gives you an idea of how much work and effort goes into providing you with pesticide free peaches. The reason peaches are on the “dirty dozen list” is because pesticides are toxic especially to children and it remains on the fruit even after washing and peeling. Heath professionals recommend that consumers choose organic whenever possible, especially for the items on the Dirty Dozen list (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php). At Rumar Farm we go through a lot to produce organic peaches because we think you and your families are worth it.
Here is what is in your basket this week:
Peaches – Sun ripened, hand picked. Experience what a biodynamic peach tastes like. Be aware that unlike conventional farms that apply a finishing spray so they hold longer, ours will need to be eaten or used right away.
Stir Fry Mix – Back by popular demand….a mix of greens for stir-frying, braising, blanching or eating raw in a hearty salad. Red and green mustard, kale, red and green mizuna, tatsoi and tsoi-sum. Wilt into soup, add to scrambled eggs or omelets.
Kale – Tender young leafy greens that we can never get enough of with so many ways to enjoy. Try in salads, soups, roast it or turn into kale chips the kids will love as a healthy snack.
White Turnips – We just love this versatile veggie. Treat it like two different vegetables, the bulb and the greens. Roasting turnips mellows their sharp flavour and makes them wonderfully tender. The greens can be chopped up and added to your salad or as a quick sauté with mushrooms and garlic.
Green Onions – Add to any salad or chop fine and top eggs, pasta, meat dishes or any plate you want to liven up.
Slicer Cucumber – Longer than pickling types, are to be consumed fresh in salads or with dips. Try the classic cucumber sandwich with toasted bread, cream cheese, cucumber slices and dill.
Dill – One of the most fragrant and flavourful herbs in the kitchen. Use it in a potato salad or roast, add it to a cucumber salad, make a creamy dill sauce for your salmon. It takes only minutes to whip up a fresh dill dip or salad dressing. What about a yogurt-dill sauce for your eggplant cutlets? The list goes on and on. If you just can’t use it all, for long term storage that maintains a fresh flavour, freezing dill is the best option.