Monday, 14 September 2015

Fall Veggie Box!

Interested in fresh local vegetables to keep you going into the winter? Want to avoid the chaos of the indoor farmers' market? You have come to the right place!  This year we are offering a 10 week veggie box from October 6th to December 8th.  Pick up at LUSH Valley (1126 Piercy St.) from 4-5:30pm.

Each week you will pick up $20 worth of veggies which will vary throughout the months as the season changes.  This equates to approximately 6-10 items, depending on the week. (Sample box list: "Brussel puffs, Beets, Celeriac, Potatoes (Norland), Onions, Lettuce, Parsley) (I will try and get a picture up soon!)

Hesitant because you're not much of a cook?  Not sure if you can eat that much food?  We provide recipes (both easy and fancy) for eating and preserving the veggies, as many of them will store well into the winter.

A list of some of the crops you might receive:
Winter Squash
Brussel Sprouts
Bok Choi

We will also be offering "extra" options as they are available, that you can opt in for on a weekly basis. E.g. "$5 extra greens option", "$5 garlic option",  "$5 popcorn option" oh and there will almost always be extra squash available! This ensures that if $20 of veggies won't get you through the week you can supplement.

Email us if you're interested, or have further questions or concerns. Spaces are limited so sign up soon! We would like to supply you with your veggies this fall.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Weekly Veggie Box - 2015 Edition!

Another year, more vegetables! The Birds and the Beans are doing a weekly veggie box again this year!  What is that, you say?

What you get: 

Each week, you get to pick up a box full of seasonal produce.  We will give our box customers the best and widest variety of our crops. Pick-up will likely be Tuesday from 4:30-6pm in Courtenay, but we are waiting to see who signs up and what works best for everyone! Weekly newsletters also provide recipe ideas, farm stories, and sometimes the odd vegetable joke or two. 

(A box from early July: Lettuce, kale, peas, beets, carrots, radishes, mizuna, garlic scapes, fennel, and kohlrabi oh my!)
What you pay: 

You can sign up for one or both of our programs.  Each box will contain $25 value.  Payments can be made in two installments—half when you sign up, and half mid-season. 

- Summer box, for 14 weeks from June 30th to September 29th.  Cost is $350.
- Fall box, for 8 weeks in the Fall from October 6th to December 1st. Cost is $180.  

 Egg-citing Option: 

We also raise laying hens that lay some of the tastiest eggs in the Comox Valley. Fed certified organic grains and accessing pasture every day from their mobile coop, these are happy hens. For an extra $6/week you can reserve yourself 1 dozen of these fantastic eggs, as well as the fresh veggies. (Total egg-stra for summer box is $84)

Why it’s good for both of us:

Convenience: It’s a convenient way for you to get your veggies without having to wake up early on a Saturday to battle the crowds at the farmer’s market.

Selection: We will include our “specialty” crops—the ones that sell out within the first hour of market—giving you the best variety.

Healthy habits: If you’ve always wanted to eat healthier or buy local more often, this is a great way to get yourself to do it!  If you pre-pay for your veggies, chances are you’ll eat them! 

Sharing is caring: If you’re worried about having too much produce, you could find a friend to share the box.  This is good for people planning to be away for a week or two in the summer!
Exciting cuisine: You get to try new foods!  We will provide recipe suggestions if you are unfamiliar with how to use kohlrabi, or bored with your same-old recipes.

Cash-flow: For us, getting payments up-front allows us to make capital investments like greenhouses and refrigeration units, which we need to grow your food. 

Expanding customer reach:  It allows us to feed more people, by providing food for people who can’t make it to the farmer’s market. 

Making connections: You get to know your farmers and your farmers get to know you!

How to sign up:

E-mail us to sign up!  We only have ~25 spots for each program, so sign up early! or call 250-890-9025

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Thanksgiving weekend is upon us!

My most immediate thought associations with Thanksgiving are this: visiting family, enjoying autumn weather, and eating a lot of food.  But now that I'm thinking about it, I'm disappointed that I did not first think of giving thanks.  So, I am going to share with you the things I am thankful for as a part of the Birds and the Beans.

Firstly, I'm thankful for the opportunity to farm in such a beautiful and bountiful place.  Clean air and fresh water, healthy soil, and sunny weather-- I am so thankful to live in a place where I can be digging around in the soil every day, producing delicious food for the people around me.

Secondly, I'm thankful for people.  Thank you for your support, either as customers, friends, market buddies, whatever.  Especially our regular customers.  You are so encouraging and really make us feel appreciated.  This is a lovely place to grow and sell food.

Thirdly, for my business partners.  This season has not been without stress and troubles, but working with three other people makes it easier to carry a load and support one another.  So here's a shout out to my partners in crime-- cheers to working our tails off, some good laughs, and a lot of No-Fun-Fashion-Fridays (it's a joke, don't worry about it).

And of course, we want to help you celebrate your thankfulness.  Come appreciate the abundance of the Valley; get your trimmings for Turkey dinner at the Saturday Farmers' Market, at the exhibition grounds from 9 a.m. to noon.  We'll have everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner (minus the turkey)!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fall Veggie Box Program

It doesn't seem like it now, but the damp and cold will be here before we know it-- so you better make sure you're well equipped with delicious and hearty vegetables for soups, stews, and other rainy comforts!

Our fall veggie box program runs for 8 weeks from October 7th to November 25th.  The total cost is $160 (plus $15 for a bin deposit if you require a bin to take produce home).  You get $20 worth of veggies every week.  You come pick-up the veggies Tuesdays between 4 and 6 pm at LUSH Valley (1126 Piercy Street).

Things you can expect are potatoes, winter squash, leeks, beets, celeriac, parsnips, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, parsley, and lots more.

Hesitant because you're not much of a cook?  Not sure if you can eat that much food?  We provide recipes (both easy and fancy) for eating and preserving the veggies, as many of them will store well into the winter.

Email us if you're interested, or have further questions or concerns.

May you squeeze every last drop out of summer fun, and embrace the beauty of autumn,
Kelsey and the Birds and the Beans.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Subsisting on melons and Greek salad-- Life is good.

It's "crunch time" (as I like to call it) around here at the farm.  Hence the lack of social media posting... So here's a brief update as the how we're filling our days.  

We're pushing hard to get dry crops harvest in the small windows of dry weather; we can't bank on the serious rain holding off forever.  I'd like to give a shout-out to our friends and family who have put in a day or two or more of work.  It's so nice to have extra hands working, but also good company.  Thank you.

We're also pushing the deadline as to when we get out winter vegetable crops in the ground.  It's been rather demoralising to push so hard to keep planting while the crops that were planted a few weeks ago are getting eaten by wire worms from the bottom, slugs from the side, and deer from the top... But if this year will be anything like the last, we can sell every green leaf we bring to market in November and December, which will be an important part of our revenue.   
Don't tell anyone, but something that has greatly increased my productivity in the field has been listening to an album of Michael Jackson's "Number One Hits."  I would recommend it next time you have to do something for a long time.

In other news, melons!  We've been feasting on all the melons that split in the field, and they're so sweet and delicious with juice that drips to my elbows.  This is our first year growing melons, and it's really tricky to get them ripe on the vine, but not spoiled by the time we get them to you.  But we want everyone's melon experience to be awesome, so if yours was fermented, unripe, split, sandy, whatever, let us know and we'll give you another one to try (and don't feel bad about saying so!). 

But my second cup of coffee has emptied itself, so I guess that means it's time to head to the field.  

May you fill your belly with blackberries a few more times yet this season,

Tomatillo du jour

Friday, 11 July 2014

Sleep deprived July

Hello all, and happy July!

Things have only been getting busier for us here on the farm.

July feels especially busy because it's a juggling game of time devoted to harvesting, planting, and weeding.  We're starting to harvest significant volumes, and attending two markets per week, doing a weekly box program, and harvesting for orders.  We are still planting fall and winter crops now that will stand in the field until it frosts (or later for some things), and keeping on top of succession plantings, like herbs and lettuce.  Not to mention, the weeds at our field are a force to be reckoned with--most crops need a lot of attention in their first few weeks to establish themselves without being overgrown with smartweed!

Also, with this hot weather, it's nicer to start early in the morning before it gets too hot, but since the days are so long, it's hard to get to bed any earlier.

Busy as it is, plants are growing, and it makes going for a dip in the ocean or river so satisfying.


Lovely lettuce.  Lovely farmer.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Into the Swing of Things

Phew! What a Spring it has been!

If we have any good excuse for neglecting our blog it's that we've had our fingers, toes, and minds buried in the soil. What can we say, it's Spring, we've been busy!

But let's try a quick catch up. There's been lots happening!

Building a greenhouse and filling it all up with plants.

Battling wireworms. All. Day. Long.

Thanks for your work cover crops!

Sometime we stop to enjoy the pretty things...

So many seeds to plant!

Field naps are essential to happy farmers.

And watching it all come together seed by seed, row by row.