Hello, It is finally happened, spring decided to show up and is in full force. The team at Forsythe Family Farms is working nonstop!
My name is Kemayla and I will be your eyes, ears and the administrator for the 2018 Forsyth Farms CSA. Interestingly enough I am not a farmer and will happily leave that up to Farmer Jim and Leslie!
Since they are too busy out in the fields, the barn and the market that leaves me to help you and communicate what is growing on the farm! Our goal is to make you feel a part of the farm family and the journey your food makes until it reaches your plate.
The intention of these newsletters is to share weekly crop updates, storage tips to make your produce last and share offers that are available in our Farm Market/ On-line store. I will also include some tried and tested recipes and I hope you will consider sharing some of your own recipes and adventures in the kitchen using Forsythe produce!
The first farm was located at McCowan Road and 14th Avenue in Markham, which today shows no trace of farming anymore due to urbanization. In 1971 this location offered the first Forsythe’s road side market selling corn and other horticultural crops. In 1978 pick your own strawberries were added.
The farm then moved to Kennedy Road in Unionville in 1986. The lease on this land was terminated in November 2013 to make way for development. This brings us to the home farm in beautiful Greenbank Ontario. The Forsythe family has owned and farmed here in Greenbank since 1997.
Meet your Farmers: Jim and Leslie Forsythe
City boy Jim caught the country bug after working as a summer farm hand on family farms in Markham and Stouffville area. Jim earned his Diploma in Agriculture at the University of Guelph. After graduation he worked in research and development and farm chemical sales. In 1971 he opened his first road side market with sweet corn and soon expanded to include other horticultural crops.
Farmer Jim is an involved community member with his Church and promoting the Giving Garden, which supplies fresh produce for those in need.
Leslie entered the farming scene in 1986 when she wed Farmer Jim and the farm became known as Forsythe Family Farms. Leslie’s background is in physiotherapy but just like Jim caught the farming bug. With the birth of their two son’s James and Daniel the farm evolved to creating fun family outings and educational school tours. The farm incorporated and became Forsythe Family Farms 2009 Inc in 2009.
While Jim is in the field, Leslie is managing the market and developing fun educational programs for school aged children.
What is happening in the fields this week?
As of May 14th the following crops have been planted:
Peas are out of the ground
Asparagus is coming up and should be available at the market this weekend and in the first CSA share
Rhubard is being harvested and will be available into June.
Spinach, out of the ground
Transplanted Spanish onions, strawberries, leeks and lettuce. These were all started in the greenhouse.
Meet Ashtyn our Farm Hand
This summer the farm has welcomed Ashtyn. Ashtyn has studied Environment and Urban Sustainability at university and hopes to pursue further education in sustainable agriculture.
Ashtyn has been helping plant the crops on a *new* to the farm planter. Farmer Jim, loves attending farm auctions in the off season and picked up this new to us planter to help speed things along this spring. Unfortunately not everything runs smoothly, the new planter had a few issues and missed inserting some of the plant plugs into the ground due to a broken chain and some rocks. None the less the fields got planted and everyone got used to the planter.
In the Barn and the Chicken Coop
The farm welcomed 100 young brown laying hens.
These hens are 21 weeks old. As the hens mature the eggs will get larger. These eggs are only available to customers who visit the farm. The eggs in our farm share come from a neighbouring farm that is able to provide government inspected eggs, a regulation requirement to sell eggs off the farm. We will share more about egg farming in a future newsletter edition.
In the barn we received our first batch of roasting chickens, over two weeks ago and they’re starting to get their feathers. . Another batch of chickens arrived last week. Look at the difference between the 4 day old chicks and the 2.5 week chicks. These roaster chickens will be ready in 10 weeks and will weigh 5 + pounds.