May12. 2009
Green Croft Gardens News


What's happening on the Farm?
Spring is finally here and just yesterday all our animals went to pasture for the summer. It is just such a beautiful sight to see the lambs and goat kids frolic in the field and moms happily munching the grass. As I am writing this newsletter we just had another little lamb born, now our lamb count is at 16. This year is a real boy year. So far we have ten ram lambs and 6 ewe lambs. Most years we get about half boys and girls.
Stefanie and Marisa our German wwooofers were great helpers at lambing time. Our pet sheep Jenny, some of you might know her from the petting zoo at Grindrod Days, had a hard time because her lamb was dead and all twisted up and very hard to birth. After a long night of helping her to have her lamb she was very sore and weak and we were worried she would not make it. We are happy to report that she is doing fine now.
All our sheep got shorn on April 16th and we will offer a workshop at our fall shearing in August. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about wool, felting and spinning.
Our baby chicks have hatched and with 10 new Araukana chicks we have a little flock of 26 - hopefully more hens then roosters. One goose is still sitting on eggs and by now we are wondering if her eggs are any good. The turkeys are trying to lay eggs but the geese are giving them a hard time so we are going to move the geese into one of our pastures as soon as the goslings have hatched. Some of our ducks are sitting on eggs. It takes Muscovy ducks 35 days of incubating their eggs….. that's a long time to sit on eggs. Simon's puppy Roo is learning about electric fences and to stay out of the fields. He had quite a hard time last week but he is learning.
Our woofers Marisa and Stefanie are now on Quadra Island and will come back in a month. They told me they would like to clean up the big pot and junk pile behind the green house. That would be so great because this is the future site for farm machinery and parts of it will be a herb, flower and salad garden. Jordan from Manitoba is off to Merritt tree planting. Josef, our nephew, successfully finished his carpentry course and is now building houses in Vernon. With everyone leaving it seems pretty quiet in the house now.
On May 2nd a new wwoofer, Christine from Germany, arrived to help us for a few weeks and Diane is back working for us this summer and we are very grateful for her enthusiasm and her skills.
Our greenhouse is bursting with transplants and we are almost done with transplanting all our onions in the field. We are planting all our onions and many other crops into a certified organic biodegradable mulch this year to save on weeding labor. Wolf has been busy preparing the fields and seeding spinach, beets, radishes, carrots, peas, salad turnips. The first carrots are up and the second seeding is in and hopefully up shortly with the third seeding going in this week. Bush beans are seeded and covered with a row cover to keep the soil warmer. The spinach and the second seeding of radishes are up and Lettuce Mix and Italian Dandelion are ready to harvest in 2 weeks.
We have transplanted so far 2000 lettuce, 400 kohlrabi, 400 cauliflower, 9000 onions 3000 Walla Walla onions and 800 broccoli.
Our potatoes get planted this week and many more transplants are to follow. The potatoes we are planting this year are Sieglinde, Red Chieftain, Blue and Fingerling(Banana).
At the end of April I took a CHA Riding Instructor and Trail guide certification clinic in Princeton and I am happy to let all my riding and vaulting students know that I am now a Level 2 certified riding instructor and trail guide.
Check out www.cha-ahse.org for more info about the Certified Horsemanship Association and for my lesson schedule check Gabriele's Riding School on our website www.greencroftgardens.com
I got a horse drawn wagon now thanks to a riding student and our son Simon, who worked hard one weekend to weld and design the wagon for taking it to the Grindrod Market. My team of Icelandic Horses (Frodi and Thorana) are getting lots of driving practice taking me and our wares to the Grindrod Park Market every Saturday. If you are interested in horse drawn farm tours call or email me 250-838-658 greengdn@junction.net
Produce for Sale
Dandelion greens, nettles, radishes, sorrel, rhubarb, dried hot peppers, bedding plants, heritage tomato plants, vegetable starts, many herbs, climbers like morning glory, cardinal vine, cobea vine, canary vine, cypress vine, beans, nasturtiums and other flowers
Recipes of the Month
Green Croft Gardens Radish Leaf Soup
3 Radish bunches ( use leaves only )
1 tbsp Butter
1 small Onion
750ml Soup stock
100g Sour Cream
Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
4tsp. Finely chopped Parsley
_ Wash Radish leaves and chop coarsely. Heat butter in stockpot and add chopped Onion. Lightly sautee` and add stock. Boil for about 10 min. Add Radish leaves , boil lightly and add sour cream. Sprinkle on Parsley and add desired amount of spices.
Oat Crackers
2 cups oat meal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix all dry ingredients and add
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup boiling water
Mix all ingredients together,
spread onto a baking foil and score
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
Put on rack immediately
Icelandic Lamb skins
We got our beautiful and soft lambskins tanned and are selling them for $ 120 each.
You can choose from colours white, black and brown.
Wool products
We are offering
- Beautiful Icelandic raw fleece from our summer shearing in multi colours $ 25 per fleece
- Wool bats for spinning, felting $2 per oz
- Roving for easy spinning, hooking and felting $2 per oz
- Hand spun wool in many colours for $4 - 5 per oz
- Handmade cozy slippers, hats and scarves.
Where are we selling this Month?

We will be selling at the:
Enderby Market every Friday 8 am- 1 pm
Grindrod Park Market every Saturday 9 am - 3 pm
Kelowna Farmers Market every Saturday 8 - 1pm
You can also come to buy at the farm call or email to make an appointment greengdn@junction.net
Call 250-838-6581
Check out our website www.greencroftgardens.com
Local Events
3rd Annual Green Environmental Fair
SENS is holding their third Green Enviro-Fair in Vernon's Recreation Centre on Saturday, May 30, 2009 from 10 am until 4 pm, with set-up between 9 am and 10 am the same morning.
Environment Week Events:
May 30 - Green Enviro - Fair (and NORD/City of Vernon Green Business Awards, starting after 3 pm)
May 31 - Weed Removal (and related education), Becker Park
June 1 - Commuter Challenge Kick-off
June 2 - Water Day Events
June 3 - Clean Air Day/Astronomy at OSC/Guided Bike Rides
June 4 - Waste Reduction Day Activities
June 5 - Commuter Challenge Wrap-up/Local Food Promotion Day
Through their fair, they wish to increase awareness of green/sustainable products and services in the North Okanagan so residents can make positive choices for the environment.
For more info visit www.sensociety.org

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