Things are blooming!

Posted on by Tim Carr

Flower Shares have begun arriving at your regular pick up location. If your pick up location is self-serve, your flowers will be in a labelled white bucket. Each bouquet (like your vegetable, meat or fruit shares) will be quite similar.

Valarie and I have faced a few obstacles in these beginning weeks, including squished flowers, a missed delivery and the need to “scrounge” a few things. It is a fun challenge to find enough resources on the farm to make 60 relatively similar shares, each containing various blooms or vegetation. Our flower “crops” will explode to life very soon - thousands of plants, dozens of species, and multiple varieties of many of them.

Your shares are cut the morning of your delivery day, or late Friday evening for Saturday deliveries. The flowers are cut, put in warm water, arranged, and conditioned in our coolers. Our hope is that your flowers last a very long time. But, like fruit or vegetables, cut flowers have a shelf life. Some last a surprisingly long time in a vase, others wilt or drop petals more quickly - some notoriously quickly. Which is why, for example, we didn’t send any of the million lupins/lupines your way.


Tips for Cut Flowers

  • Remove elastic bands.
  • Snip an angled bit off stem bottoms each time you change the water.
  • Changing the water every couple of days is helpful.
  • Direct sunlight is not ideal for cut flowers.
  • Remove any lower leaves or flowers that may rest in water.
  • Trim, remove, or replace spent flowers from bouquet.


Sounds like a bit of work, but really not.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the flower shares, or have any other flower needs.




What I did on my summer vacation

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It's obviously remnants of grade school that are making me feel like I owe everyone a "what I did on my summer vacation" note... I'm also influenced by my niece Genevieve who missed two weeks of the third grade to travel to our wedding, and had to write a couple of reports to make it up! 

It was an AMAZING two weeks off, and I know Jon and I are grateful that we could take so much time off in the busy season to look after some important life moments.  Every day was amazing and spent with people we love, and right in the middle we got married.  I'm going to share my favourite moments in photos:

Friday at the end of the work day we enjoyed some ice cream and Jamaican rum with the TapRoot Team.

Then we headed to Halifax the next day to meet our first guests- Jon's sister Alyson with her husband Dion and their 2 - 1/2 year old Maevey.

When we returned to the Valley, more guests arrived and Jon's sisters stayed at Swallow's Nest at the farm.  Maevey LOVED collecting eggs and she loved Six Bux, too!  A good hands-on place for Genevieve to write her report about the farm for school, too!

Friday night pre-wedding clam bake and BBQ for family and guests from away - what a bunch!  Jon's family, my family, and our very closest friends.

Jon and I with our neice Genevieve and nephew Joshua from Seattle, and Maevey from Calgary

Wedding feast prepared by Matt Krizan and staff, Mateus Bistro

Day after wedding clean-up crew - Lobster supper at Hall's Harbour, followed by a sunset trip to Scot's Bay!

Visiting the Jenkins' family in PEI on the Charlottetown Harbour Hippo!

Clam diggin' in PEI - Jon's favourite!


A huge thanks to the TapRoot Team for filling in while we were away-- We are well rested and happy to be back!


Spring Flax Sowing and Mechanization

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Our first international shipment of fibre flax seed arrived from the Netherlands a couple weeks ago and our second annual flax 565.jpgseeding is now completed! It was a late and wet start to spring but things have swung the other way over the last month. This week's much needed rain has resulted in a sheen of green little flaxlings covering the field planted a few weeks ago. 


We have sown an acre of flax using a combination of Melina, the seed from the Netherlands (label to the left) and seed we saved from last year's harvest. Saving and using our own seed is one of the pieces in the bigger picture of creating a local textile. The seeds we save, over time, will favor characteristics that make it suitable for growing in the Maritimes. In addition, localizing the flax/linen supply chain builds on the capacity of this region.


On the processing front, we've hired Mike, the engineer. He is busy designing and will be building the equipment that will mechanize the processing line that separates the flax plant fibres. We've identified this as a critical next step in order to efficiently produce small scale, quality, linen fibre. As the growing season progresses we'll continue to keep you updated on the development of this year's crop and the realization of the TapRoot Fibre Lab.


Over the next few weeks the flax will shoot up and start to produce those characteristic small blue flowers. We'll be using a variety of techniques for weed control and assessing our efforts at sowing the seeds close but not too close.


Stay tuned for July's update and more pictures as the crop progresses!



Fresh Herb Tea Bundles

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This week you'll find a mixed bunch of herbs that have been wild crafted and grown on the farm. Mint, lemon balm and red clover are some of the plants you'll find in your share, and there's enough in each bundle to make 2 nice pots of tea.

To prepare the tea, cut and keep the clover heads while the water boils on the stove. Once boiled, combine the lemon balm, mint and red clover heads in the teapot and pour water over top. Let the tea infuse for a good 5 minutes before pouring. Store the bundle upright in a mason jar with a little water or in a ziplock in the fridge and it should last a week. TRIM the ends of the bouquets in order to get them to uptake water.

Lemon balm and mint are said to be digestives -- calming to the stomach -- and clover is a liver tonic, reducing the 'heat' generated by the stresses of modern life. 

Lately I've been reading about Japanese tea culture – there is an art to cultivating a moment to sit down and savour a blend of plants and their distinct aromas. In these buzzy times moments of relaxation are of great value to mind and body.





TapRoot Meat Share Week 6

Posted on by Jocelyn Durston

Welcome to the sixth week of the 2014-2015 TapRoot meat share!


This week your share contains:

1 Chicken Leg Quarter from TapRoot Farms.

1 lb Ground Beef from Longspell Point Farms.

1lb No-Nitrate Bacon from TapRoot Farms.

1 Pork Steak from TapRoot Farms.
1lb Sweet Chilli Sausages made with TapRoot pork by Helen at Salmontail River Farm.


Cost breakdown of your share:

1 chicken leg quarter @ $4.90/lb, average weight1 lb         $4.90

1 lb ground beef @ $6.25/lb                                                $6.25

1lb no-nitrate bacon @ $7.50/lb                                          $7.50

1 pork steak @ $5.00/lb, average weight 2.15lbs  $10.75

1lb sweet chilli sausage @ $8.50/lb                                     $8.50

                                                                                 Total: $37.90


We hope you enjoy the variety of meat and local farms reflected in this week’s meat share. The Sweet chilli sauce in the sausages is made by Salmontail River Farm, so it has no preservatives or as Helen says, no other junk in it. It just has chillies, sugar, garlic and vinegar. There is also salt, pepper and low gluten rusk in the sausages.

Animal Update

We’ve all been looking forward to the arrival of new piglets for over a month now and we still don’t have any exciting news to share. We’ll be sure to let you know when they finally arrive.

In the meantime, we thought you might enjoy a video of the ducklings that Salmontail River Farm brought to us recently. The video shows the ducklings running around in their new pen in excitement. VERY cute! Check it out here on Salmontail River Farm’s facebook page. We've also included a photo of them below.