Friday, February 24, 2017

CSA: Now Offering Half Shares

Some CSA members who were with us last year have asked for a half share option as a means to accommodate smaller households. Daniel and I both agree that this is a wonderful idea! So we've decided to add in a half share option for smaller households.

Prices will be as follows:

Full Share (family of 3-5) $360 for the season.
         Deposit $120 before March 31 and two cheques for $120 post dated for Aug 8 & Sept 5.

Half Share  (family of 1-2) $210 for the season.
         Deposit $70 before March 31 and two cheques for $70 post dated for Aug 8 and Sept 5.

Payments can also be made through our new PayPal button in the left hand column of our website. There are a number of options to chose from.

Drop us an email or call Tracy (705) 716-7646, if you have any questions or you'd like to sign up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

**NEW** Volunteer CSA Spots

Do you love seasonal, local vegetables? Want to get a weekly box of vegetables for free?

This year Catnap Gardens is offering a few CSA spots in exchange for volunteer work on the farm. As a young farm, we are always in need of a few extra hands as well as good company.

Instead of paying $360 for a full season share, Volunteer CSA members will be given a weekly food box in exchange for 2 hours a week (or 4 hours in two weeks) of help on the farm for the duration of the CSA (July 18-Oct 3).

Volunteers will be helping with transplanting seedlings from the greenhouse to the field, watering, weeding, harvesting and prepping vegetables for the CSA or markets. It's great work for someone who loves being outside and working with their hands. Training and assistance will be provided, so no experience is necessary. Hours are flexible and children are welcome to come along to help
or just explore.

If this sounds like your cup of tea email me, Tracy, at

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2017 CSA Sign Ups!

CSAs are becoming very popular amongst small scale, Canadian farmers. Prior to the start of the growing season local food enthusiasts purchase “shares” in their local farm in exchange for a weekly food box that contains a variety of produce for a prescribed period of time. 
All food offered through Catnap Gardens’ weekly food box has been grown on our farm in Midhurst using hand tools and without the aid of fossil fuels (except our tiller) or chemical fertilizers. We source certified organic seeds, use organic potting mix and certified organic compost. Our weed control methods include tarping, tilling, flame weeding and hand pulling. We emphasize soil health and small scale methods to ensure our vegetables produce the highest nutrients possible for our customers.  
By investing in the CSA model members are investing in the farm and helping to make a more food secure future for their community.

At Catnap Gardens, members receive a share of the garden’s bounty for 12 weeks from

 July 18 until Oct 3.

The cost per share is $360 for the season (which averages to $30 a week) payable in a lump sum or with a $120 deposit and two postdated cheques. 
Your deposit secures your spot. We are only offering 30 shares this year so don’t delay or you may lose your spot.


There will be three pick up times this year from which to choose...

Tuesdays 3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. @ Bldg P210 in Borden (new hospital building)
Fridays 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. @ the Farm in Midhurst (County Road 27 & Horseshow Valley Rd)
Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. @ the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market

What’s included in each share varies week to week.  A typical box from Catnap Gardens may include:

July: peas, globe & cherry tomatoes (heirloom varieties), cucumber, herbs, romaine lettuce, spring mix, radishes, carrots, zucchini **NEW** microgreens, kale.

August: baby greens, sweet peppers, globe & cherry tomatoes (heirloom varieties), cucumber, beans, melon, baby romaine and other greens, new potatoes, **NEW** microgreens, multi coloured carrots, patti pan summer squash.

September: Baby greens, leeks, head lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, winter squash, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and assorted decorative gourds.

Email for a registration form. 

If you have any questions about the CSA food box program please call Tracy at (705) 716-7646

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Announcing our new CSA program!

We've had a lot of enquiries about us doing a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) with our gardens. It's a weekly food box distributed to a set group of committed customers. Local enthusiasts pay in advance for their weekly 'shares'  which allows farms and farmers to plan their seasons with better predictability.

We've been leery about starting one given that it's our first year, however, the gardens are producing splendidly so we devised a way to offer a CSA without the commitment of an entire season. We are doing a mini-CSA. 

Typically a market farm like ours would offer a 20 or even 26 week session, sometimes even offering winter shares as well. We aren't that far along in our endeavour, so a 12 week long CSA is a great start for us. It allows customers to try us out without having to commit for an entire six months. And it allows us time to ensure that our weekly offerings will be what they should be; abundant and delicious. 

Interested in knowing more? Here's the details...

12 Week CSA Program

Starting July 12 - Sept 27

Each share costs $300, which can be paid all at once or in three equal instalments. 

$100 before July 12 to secure your spot. And then $100 Aug 9, and $100 Sept 6. 

That works out to $25 a week for each share. 

The offerings in a share vary as the season progresses. A typical July share should include globe & cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, baby greens, romaine lettuce, snow & snap peas, baby spinach and a potted basil. An August share should include globe & cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, zucchini, melon, and possibly baby greens. A September share should include tomatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach, carrots, lettuce, baby greens, squash and a pie pumpkin or two. 

Two pick up locations are available for you to chose: 

Saturdays at the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer's Market - Catnap Gardens Booth (8 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
Tuesdays at the Farm, 12647 Simcoe County Rd 27, Midhurst, ON (6 p.m.- 8 p.m.)

If you want in on the action don't delay. We are only offering 10 shares this year so space is limited and the program is sure to fill up fast. 

We hope to have online payments soon, but for now we are relying on the old fashioned methods, cash & cheque. Email us at, or stop by our booth at the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer's Market and we will get you started. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Swag from the Guelph Organic Conference

Yesterday my husband and I were able to attend the Guelph Organic Conference at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Although parts of the conference made us feel like little fish in a huge pond, lots of what we saw and heard re-ignited our passion for the farm.
As with most conferences we came home with a great stash of useful offerings. Granola bars, seed catalogues, books and information pamphlets. I was even gifted a jump drive from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs because I asked a few questions about food contamination issues at their booth.
We attended a couple workshops and met some people with products designed to help farmers like us.
I'm probably going to spend the rest of the day flipping through seed catalogues and reading my new book "Record Keeping for Organic Growers". All in all, I'm expecting to have a lovely Feb 1st.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Winter has Arrived!

Yesterday morning we awoke to this gorgeous scene outside our windows. We've been somewhat spoiled this November with so little to remind us that winter was indeed on its way.

This being our first winter in our country home there was many things we needed to do in order to get ready. The old adage is true; 

"You're never really ready for winter, you just run out of time." 

With all the equipment and tools we have been accumulating for our market garden venture it became clear to us that our garage was going to be a very tight squeeze in the winter months with all our lawn equipment, the BCS walk behind tractor, the patio furniture, the lawn tractor and my husband's tools that are very much needed twelve months of the year. Two weeks ago I turned to Kijiji where I discovered a lovely couple in a nearby town were looking to re-gift a temporary garage shelter. It's really just metal pipes with a tarp overtop. All we needed to do was bring our tools and haul it away. My husband and I were so grateful to have this set up on our property. It currently houses all the overflow of things we won't need until spring, which is mostly my garden equipment. 

Last week we put our snow tires on the car. This past weekend we assembled our snow thrower attachment for the John Deere. We are almost ready for the worst that winter can throw at us. Now that the snow is here to stay I'm going to be able to focus on my to-do list inside the house with includes much needed room painting and certain upgrades planned.

Friday, November 20, 2015

TUTORIAL: Making Bows

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... well actually no. We've been enjoying lovely temperatures and only had one little snow last week. BUT...the calendar does move forward whether winter weather blows in or not. Knowing that my Christmas decorating is right around the corner I'm starting to put together some things for the outside, namely my urns.

This is the time, while there is no snow and a good walk in the woods is still possible, when I start gathering dead fall; pine branches, birch limbs, pine cones, and maybe some dogwood (red sticks). I have some lovely red stars I use year after year and this year I wanted some swanky new bows.

The local go-to place for all upscale Christmas decor is selling bows for $5 and up, the price climbing higher and higher the bigger the bows, so I set out to make my own. And they turned out lovely.

Here's how you do it:


Burlap or Ribbon
Floral wire (pipe cleaners work, if you ribbon is not too heavy)

Step one: Cut your wire about the length of your arm. You want a lot because you'll need a bit sticking out the back to tie on to your tree or branch or whatever.

Step two: Unravel your ribbon a bit, decide how long you want the tail to be and the fold the ribbon over itself. You can adjust how big the loops are.

Step three: Now, fold the ribbon back and forth like an according, making sure your next loop is slightly smaller than the last.

Step four: Gather the ribbon at the centre back, adjusting loops to make sure they are all the right size and arranged nicely.

Step five: Use your wire to fasten this centre bunch. Wrap the wire around a few times, keeping it taut and then twist at the back. Make sure you twist a number of times (maybe ten) before letting go.

Step six: Now you can cut off the ribbon end making sure its the same or similar length as your first tail.


My roll of burlap made 3 BIG bows, and one smaller bow with no tails.

Burlap $10 (at Michael's)
Wire $3.99 (Michael's again)

I figure these bows would cost me $8-$10 if I bought them at that swanky store, so I am quite pleased.