Visit us at 2612 County Road 2, Keene Ontario. We're on the north side of County Road 2 between Mathers Corners and Hiawatha Line.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

October 1 and We STILL Have Corn!

Time is running out...we predict we're in our last week or so of sweet corn sales.

Looking for a way to enjoy Dorisdale Sweet Corn all winter long?  Here's our favourite freezer corn recipe.  Thinking of her and my Mom and their baking/canning/freezing "bees" over the years.


Aunt Sara's Freezer Corn 
10 cups corn (raw, cut off cob)
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
6 tsp sugar

Bring to boil in pot and let simmer for 2 minutes.  Cool and bag into preferred servings sizes to enjoy!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

September is an A-maize-ing Month

We thought it's time for another corn update!

Despite the wet spring, it appears we'll be marking a record year in a couple of ways. After a quick review of sweet corn records, this year has been extraordinary in that we've been able to offer sweet corn almost non-stop since we opened for the season.  Typically each season we end up with breaks of a day or 2 without corn as we wait for ripening of the next variety (or predators help themselves before we can get it picked for you).  This year though, the cooler days has meant that ripening has been slow and we've been able to harvest more corn and even secondary cobs.   Clearly cool weather has been like having our own refrigerator in the field!

Just in case you're not counting like we are, we've just marked 41 consecutive days of sweet corn (44 in total) and no end in sight!! The latest prediction is that we will have corn until Thanksgiving! That's a lot of sweet corn at our dinner table....and we're still happy to eat more.

Along with the amazing corn season, we have to thank everyone for continuing to purchase our garlic.  Sadly, we're almost sold out with just a few braids and a small number of cloves left.  We do look forward to planting within the new few weeks for next year's harvest. Really, garlic season never ends at Dorisdale!

Our green and yellow beans proved to be bumper crop.  Plants are still flowering so watch for another couple of days of availability.  A perfect time to get your freezer full for winter. Ella's delicious heirloom tomatoes are ripening beautifully with this warm weather too and zucchini are still growing so check us out for more garden goodies along with sweet corn.

We started a back-to-school post but never finished so this September blog seems like the perfect time to mention the gang at Dorisdale! Looking at the kids makes us realize how quickly years pass by....and are a great marker of how many years since we did this or that here at the farm.  We're proud of our family/team.

Claire headed back to the University of Ottawa on Labour Day for her 2nd year in  Biomedical Mechanical Engineering.  And yes, she did take corn with her to share with housemates!  Next summer could be an adventure for all us as Claire is planning to complete her 1st co-operative education term....and corn sales might not qualify!  Maggie is now in Grade 11 and has a big year planned at school with Link Crew (supporting Gr 9's transitioning to high school),  a Social Justice Brigade trip to Guatemala in April, fall field hockey, a part in the spring musical Grease (casting happens this week) along with 4-H, Peterborough's Children's Chorus and managing  some school work in between it all!  Liam is in Grade 8 and looking forward to leadership opportunities at school including sports teams (his team just won 2nd at the Family-of-Schools Soccer Tournament), being on the Radio Team (PA Announcements) and spreading Feel Good Friday messages with Leaders Today.  Hockey is also underway so he's excited to back in net as goalie for one of the Otonabee Wolves Bantam teams and hopefully he can fit in a 4-H club through the winter too.  Ella is in Grade 6 and is excited to be part of Leaders Today at school for the first time..and being a lunch monitor.  Along with 4-H, she's also a very keen Keene Girl Guide with lots of plans for badges and fun all winter long.  We really appreciate the kind comments and your support of the kids over the summer.  Liam & Ella's tip jars are overflowing, so thank you for your generosity and kindness (and extra incentive!).

Overall, we have so much to be thankful for - our family, friends, our supportive community.  It's been an a-maize-ing summer and fall!

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Simmentals 💖 Sweet Corn

Staying true to Gerald and Bernadette's commitment to fresh picked quality produce, we continue to hand pick our sweet corn each morning.  We thank all our customers for stopping by and have very little corn left each day, but when we do, the part of our Simmental herd pasturing here for the summer get excited!  Leftover corn becomes a treat for them...along with what's left of our corn cobs from supper.

When we've finished picking a planting of sweet corn, it's important for us to use it effectively.  Corn stalks are a good source of energy and roughage for ruminants.  Did you know that cows are ruminants meaning that they have 4 stomachs that are needed to digest grasses/plants?.  We also have cobs that we couldn't pick as they didn't germinate properly or were damaged by wildlife. Local raccoons, birds, and we think this year even coyotes, have heard about our delicious sweet corn and want a taste of it!

Picture:  Corn stalks in the field... with lots of good eating after we've picked the cobs.


Rather than plowing under corn stalks, we use a "vintage" forage harvester to cut up/chop the picked over rows of stalks along with the odd cob, into a ready to eat  chopped corn; not quite "corn silage" though because it does not ferment in a silo but rather is chopped directly into a feeder wagon and promptly fed to the cows.  


Picture:  Peter heading out to the field with the harvester.

 
Picture:  Peter with the feeder wagon - cows each find their own spot within 
the metal bars of the wagon to get their corn silage fix!

The cows love this fresh feed.  It's a bit different from the silage or ensilage we bag from feed corn that ferments due to the high carbohydrate and protein levels with high fibre (to prevent deadly bloating).  Our cattle eat this silage all winter long as a way to boost their energy levels during our cold winters along with dry hay.


Picture:  Fresh cut silage. You can see the beautiful green colour of
stalks and pieces of chopped up cobs.

The cows listen attentively for Peter coming in from the field with this treat to supplement their grass eating while on pasture.
Picture: The Simmentals waiting not so patiently - they can hear the tractor & feeder wagon on it's way up the laneway.

It gets a little loud when they hear the tractor coming from the field.  They actually head to the barn yard and start bawling/mooing until Peter brings them what they're looking for!


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Clearly, we all love Dorisdale Sweet Corn!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Hay There!

The beautiful sunshine with a cool breeze has meant things are happening here at Dorisdale!

First off, we must explain the "hay there" title of this post.  Although we mainly write/talk about our sweet corn, Peter is happily baling second-cut hay....finally. This will help keep our herd of Simmental cows well-fed this winter! The "monsoon" season of this summer has meant it's been an ongoing challenge to make hay or have the fields dry enough to even get on the land.  2017's ongoing rain couldn't be any more opposite from the 2016 drought.  The cows look happy grazing in the lush pasture tonight.


The sweet corn season has been amazing with a long-running 2 corn streak of both bi-colour and white varieties on the table to keep everyone happy!  It's been great hearing comments from our corn fans how much they're enjoying the delicious taste of our corn this summer.  We still have a number of varieties to ripen so predict we'll have corn well past mid-September.  We haven't really seen that since 2006 when the International Plowing Match was next door to us!  Stay posted for updates - be sure to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DorisdaleFarm/ for the most timely updates!

Ella is hoping that over the next couple of days (and before she heads back to school!) that her tomato crop will be ready for you to enjoy at the corn table.




Green and yellow beans are still flowering, so we do hope to have those over the next week or two. More zucchini, cucumbers and hot peppers will be coming soon too. Wowza, Ella's hot peppers are hot!  We just used some in our favourite BBQ Corn Tomato Salsa and it is kicking some heat!  We're also experimenting with fava beans so watch for those.  Garlic is disappearing quickly but we do still have a good supply so get stocked up for all your winter stews, sauces and soups now!

We have a few exciting things coming up over the next couple of weeks to celebrate Peterborough's Local Food Month. We'll be part of the Keene Farmers Market this Friday (September 1) from noon to 4pm to celebrate the start of Labour Day Weekend.  We continue to supply sweet corn, garlic and beans to Towns & Leahy Mercantile & Deli in Douro and will be taking part in their Social on Saturday, September 2nd.  Also, mark your calendars for the Otonabee South Monaghan Township's Farms, Fields and Food Tour on Sunday, September 10th from noon to 4pm.  We'll be one of the stops so plan to drop by!  Copies of the Tour Map are available at our corn table or you can download a copy here. You''ll be able to have your Peterborough County Canada 150 Passport stamped that day at the OSM Historical Society (after a meaty treat at Muddy's Pit!) on your way to Dorisdale Farm for a sample of our sweet corn.  Ella & Maggie are planning on making corn husk dolls again this year and Liam's excited to scoop Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream to support Peterborough County 4-H.

As always, thanks for reading and be sure to stop by!

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Up to Ears in Corn!

We've been kept hopping at the corn table these last few days.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped in and returned for another season of corn or visited for the first time!  We're hearing from regulars that despite the weather we've had, the corn is delicious this year.  Along with the amazing taste of some of our regular early season favourite varieties (like Navajo), we have a few new types that will make the "must grow" list for next year including Cuppa Joe! Its amazing to see lush full beautifully germinated cobs that the raccoons aren't keeping completely to themselves.

We have had a few days of our first white corn of the season and were glad that last weekend we were able to keep some of the white corn fans happy with a Saturday mid-afternoon appearance!

Quantity continues to look great - Pete's gamble with seed (and a fast re-ordering just as we realized it was do that or build an ark like Noah when the May rains started) has been a success.

We're also proud of our corn-y kids who have been working diligently to keep the table stocked and practicing their math skills for back to school preparation!  By the way, their 4-H Lamb Show at the Peterborough Ex went well...but Carolyn was starting to feel like a let down after so many people shared their disappointment that none of the kids were working on Sunday!

Along with the corn it's been great to see so many people stocking up on our farm fresh garlic bulbs and braids, yellow and green beans, zucchini and cucumbers.  Ella's excited to report that her heirloom tomatoes from our friend Jill at Urban Tomato are growing like we've never seen.  We've had to put baler twine and electric fence stakes to work trying to keep the plants upright.  Watch for updates on these beauties coming very soon!

Thanks to everyone for sharing the positive comments and letting us know how much they're enjoying the local bounty.  Get out there and buy from a local farmer today.

Here's our newest corn-pun of the season:
What did the corn say when he was complimented?  Aww, shucks!
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So for all those positive comments, thanks and "aww, shucks"!  We look forward to seeing you at the corn table!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

It's Officially Corn Season!

After what has felt like non-stop rain and cool weather this spring and summer, we're excited to announce the return of Dorisdale Farm Sweet Corn on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

The weather means that our early planted corn did not have quite the germination we hoped for. That means corn supply will be limited to start but in a week or so, it looks like we'll have consistent supply until well into September....if things all go according to plan!  (It also means that first cut hay has been a challenge but that's another story....)

Peter just remembered a discussion with a long-time customer last summer about when corn and veggie sales (plus eggs, raspberries, pumpkin, squash, gourds etc) started at Dorisdale.  The customer was certain that he first purchased farm fresh goodies here in 1971.  That means we're pleased to be starting our 47th season!

As we set up the corn table tonight, it was natural for us to think of past seasons at the picnic table. Gerald and Bernadette loved what corn season meant - visits with neighbours, meeting cottagers and tourists and sharing their love for hard-work and locally produced food...before local was "trendy"! We're so pleased that our kids continue to show an interest and how they always hear a near story about their grandparents at the corn table!

As the saying goes - time flies when you're having fun!  This season marks our 18th garlic harvest here at Dorisdale and our 19th corn season. We hope to see you at the corn table this season!  Check back regularly for updates and news.

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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Year End Garlic

Since the calendar says it's officially (almost) mid December, it's time to be focusing on Christmas preparations.  It's been a very busy fall here though, so instead of baking and decorating, today is garlic day!

Earlier this fall we planted garlic cloves and put them to bed until spring.  It's always amazing to see garlic starting to pop through once the March sun starts shining.  It's certainly one of our favourite first signs of spring!

But.....we still had a couple of baskets left from our incredible 2016 garlic harvest sitting in the kitchen for more than a few weeks needing to be dealt with.  Today is the day!



You know we like experimenting with our home grown food so after a quick internet search, we decided to give freezing garlic a try. We're hoping this means we'll be able to extend the season and have garlic cloves until we're ready to harvest again in July 2017.

First off we needed to figure out an easy way to peel the individual cloves.  Here's our tip - shake, shake, shake!
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We just put heads of garlic and cloves in a glass jar and shook and shook and shook.  The result - pretty good and a lot less peeling than what we started with!
After lots of shaking and peeling, here's the end result - a big pile of cloves (and a very garlicy smelling kitchen!).


After a quick rinse, we placed the cloves into clean jars for easy freezing.  We're hoping the jars contain the garlic smell a bit....or else Christmas baking we tuck away in the freezer might appeal to different senses this year!

We'll let you know what we think over the next few months.  #loveONTfood #lovelocal