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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The week of wild weather.

We had another storm roll through here this week which brought lots of wind, about an inch of rain, and left us without power for about 40 hours.  No tornado activity in our area, which we are thankful for.  We pulled out the generator and kept our fridge, freezer and cooler running.  The gardens all fared very well and everything looks very green.

The flowers of this biennial attract parasitic wasps which help us control thrips and aphids.

The Monarch butterfly eggs have hatched already and they are busy munching the milkweed plants.  I do not have too many plants and they show growth later in the spring, so there are not a lot of leaves for these little fellas to eat.  Hopefully the plants will start growing with the moisture and warm weather ahead. 

Progress in the garden.


The peonies are now being cut so we will have lots of stems at the market on Saturday along with Sweet William, Bellflower, Yarrow and more.  We will also be offering green onions and fresh herbs.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We experienced our first storm last week with strong winds and heavy rain.  We had almost two inches of rain in about half an hour.  The plants all seemed to take it in stride, except for the cucumbers.  Some of them  could not tolerate the soggy cold soil, so we planted a few more seeds.
Our lilac bushes are so beautiful this year and this morning they were all a buzz with honey bees, bumble bees and butterflies.  We have observed several Monarch butterflies and I started checking the milkweed plants and sure enough, there are eggs laid all over the various milkweeds we grow.  The male Tiger Swallowtail is back now enjoying the lilac blossoms.  Will try and keep our eyes peeled for the female.  The females look totally different than the males.

Since the soil is very wet we have stayed out of the gardens until today.  Started weeding and mulching and I transplanted in the rock garden and in front of the house.  Should be able to proceed with planting into one or two other gardens tomorrow.  Have a good two days of transplanting to do yet.  Checked out the raspberry patch today and I have never seen so many large bumblebees in one place.  There had to have been in excess of a hundred bees all busy pollinating the raspberry flowers.  Thanks to them we should have another bumper crop of fruit.
The Bluebird family is in the yard.  The young ones have fledged the nest and we think that one or two Tree Swallow families is also out and about now.  While weeding today I was watching a Yellow Canary land on a peony stem close to the bud and eating the insects on the buds.  Our natural pesticides.
Speaking of peonies they are looking so grand right now, starting to show colour in the buds.  Will have some stems cut for the market this Saturday along with several other flower bouquets, onions and plants.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Transplanting into the gardens.

Last week we transplanted approximately half of the plants into the gardens.  One of the gardens is now planted with Dahlia's, Ageratum, Zinnia's and some of the heirloom tomato plants, seeds which were so graciously offered to us by a friend in Alvena.  Looking forward to observing them over the summer and tasting the fruit, which will be various colours and sizes.  One variety dates back to 1889, called Matt's Wild.  The seed company describes it as possibly an originator of the modern tomato which can grow up to 10-12' producing small tomato's, like eating raspberries.
Decorative corn planted as windbreak.

Valley garden

The valley garden is my favourite garden because the birds hang out in the trees adjacent to the garden.  We are serenaded with their songs while we tend to the plants and this is where we see a lot of the antics of the birds.  We planted the Beefstake, Brandy Wine, and Early Girl tomato's in this garden along with Crocosmia, Craspedia (Drumstick flower), Dianthus (annual neon purple and cherry), Dahlias, Scabiosa, Orlaya, and Icelandic Poppies.  We also seeded corn, zinnias, sunflowers and amaranthus.  Once the soil dries somewhat we will finish the transplanting in this garden with Gomphrena's and whatever else we can stuff in. We received an inch and a half in this weekends two day rain, so the transplants will settle in nicely. 

Shooting Star, one of my favourite perennials.

Delphiniums in the valley garden.

The valley garden is home to all of the perennials, Peonies, Monskhood, Heliposis, Sweet William, Red Feather, Delphiniums, Yarrow, Veronica, Mums, Echinops, Campunala Freya,  plus many more.  A wide variety of plants, with a lot of birds taking care of the insects for us.  This year we are laying onion peels around the Delphiniums to deter aphids.  This Spring there were a couple of Delphiniums that were hosting the aphids so I cut those plants down and put them in a pail of water to drown the aphids.  We have had a few more on other plants but I keep picking off the foliage and placing it in the water, and maybe along with the onion peels it may be keeping them under control.  Would love to hear feedback if you are going to try this in your Delphinium garden.
The birds are busy tending to their eggs and feeding the young ones.  The Raven family have fledged the nest and are visiting the yard area.  The young ones are very vocal, so they always catch your attention whenever they are around.  They are very interesting to observe.
This weekend at the Saskatoon farmers Market we will have fresh green onions available along with the selection of plants and cut flowers.  The purple Allium's were very popular this past Saturday in the flower bouquets.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Saskatoon Farmers Market

Unusual items available at the market this weekend at our booth.

Funky plant containers.

Herb Planter.

We also have fresh flower bouquets available made with Freesia, Lilacs and Trollius.

Times are very busy right now as we have started transplanting into the gardens, gambling on the long range forecast, predicting the lows to be well above freezing.  Usually we only start at the first week of June so a few days ahead this year.  The soil is nice and moist and the flower and vegetable seeds are all starting to germinate.  We have been feasting on fresh radishes and onions and tonight we had our first lettuce salad from our garden.  
No Robin antics to post about this week as they are busy building their nest in the trees.  Sure hope it works out well for them.  I came across a Sparrow nest on the ground in our rock garden, under a perennial leaf, with two eggs in it.  We have identified a Cat Bird in the yard, which has a very lovely song.  It was here last summer as well but we did not get many good looks at it, as they seem to stay in the trees when we are out and about.  The song always intrigued us and we thought it was the Baltimore Oriole, but this week the Catbird was perched in a tree singing away, where it was visible to us.  So out came the bird book right away.  Later in the day we saw & heard the Oriole, and their song is different.  Similar but different.
We enjoyed an early morning view of a mother moose and her baby wandering around the front of our property this week.  Such impressive creatures.