August 15, 2010

What have we been up to?  


Ok, I realize that it has been a while again since the last post. I keep thinking that I will get around to posting while I am at a market or in the evening but I am tradidionally un-functional in the evenings, especially after a long day of harvesting or markets or, well, ever; and markets have been fairly busy so I have really not found much time. I guess I just need to accept that these posts will happen once per month, then I will be happy when I get to it more often.

I want to first acknowledge a few bloggers and videographers who have mentioned us. Please check out where Elizabeth has some yummy recipes and a whole lot more. Regarding Kind Organics, she says: "Sandra and Tamas Dombi, along with partner Amber Malek, grow the most incredibly fresh greens: they taste alive when you eat them, and are best served just as I did, with a bit of crunchy salt and that amazing oil. And if you haven't had fresh sunflower sprouts, make a vow to find them before summer's over." Thanks Elizabeth!

Also FARM START (see link on our home page) has been filming a documentary about young farmers and their successes. We would like to thank them for the photos and footage they took both at the farm and at the Sorauren market. I'm not sure when the production will be done but we will post a link to it here if they post it on the internet.

Also Anne Freeman (Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market Manager) and Laura came up to the farm on a Saturday morning and took some photos and wrote an article about it in the Market News. She writes: "Photographer *Laura Berman *and I really enjoyed a tour of *Kind
Organics*' lovely growing greens recently. *Sandra* and *Amber* appear
at the market most often these days, as *Tamas* has been working hard on
another greenhouse. We were grateful to him for taking the time to
answer all our questions about sprouting, life in the Holland Marsh, and
the many interesting salad ingredients they grow." Thanks Anne!

The "Cosmic Blend" has been really well received by our customers. We are really proud of it. It contains more than 8 types of herbs, 6 or so types of edible flowers, corn shoots and up to 20 types of lettuces, all washed in filtered water and ready to eat. Here is a photo of the lovely herbs and flowers that go into it.

The "Earth Blend" has been retired for the time being. The flowers are out of season for now. We expect it to be back in the fall once the Cosmic Blend is out of season.

The "Aerial Blend" is still a big hit with it's many types of lettuce greens picked fresh by hand.

Arugula is going full force right now so the large bags are back. We have been getting some great feedback about the arugula this year. People seem to like the depth of flavour as well as its healthy kick. Thanks to all who have been enjoying it.

I will be working full time with the farm as of September 1st, 2010. This brings our full time partners up to 3! Having said that, we are looking for people to come to volunteer on the farm or some other manner of involvement ranging right up to partnership. If you have ideas, please approach us with them and we will dialogue about it. If you just want to know more about what we do then you can spend a day with us doing whatever we are doing. Recently we have had people here on a 2 week - 3 month learning stint to really learn how to manage a small community run farm. If this interests you then feel free to contact us via e-mail at This is much better than using the contact page on the website that has an error on it.

Thanks for reading!

If you have a twitter account please considering following us @kindorganics.

July 7, 2010

A New Garden  


Yesterday Tamas tilled a new garden. The principle was to widen the main garden on our property by one extra bed. This will almost bring us to ONE acre of production on our property. This seems amazing since we now harvest all our greens from the back outside garden (we used to grow the greens in our greenhouses) and we currently have more produce than we are selling. Expansion by one more LOOOONG bed (equivalent to 6 short beds) will give us the ability to do more succession planting of our greens and be able to let some grow bigger for greens and harvesting others young for salad blends. Right now we often have bouts where we will be out of one green or the other for a few weeks while the next bed matures. We sure are learning a lot more about farming this year than we knew last year. Of course this is how life works right?

Our original green house is filled on one side with flowers and on the other side with herbs. Though it has been weeded 2 times (the weeds are growing quite well) the flowers are all beginning to bloom and we are starting to see abundance. An Organic grower and friend of ours sent us some Genovese basil seedlings which we planted in the green house so we will have lots of basil in the "Earth Blend" and the "Cosmic Blend" soon.

We have been feeling so blessed to be living and working on this property. As we went for a bike ride this evening and spoke about our future and our aspirations, we were privy to a most amazing sun set and some magical cloud formations and the blessing seemed even greater.
We will see some of you at Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday and others of you on Saturday and Sunday and Monday.
Thank you Kindly for reading.
Sandra Dombi
Kind Organics

June 26, 2010

Liberty, Here We COME!  


Sunday June 27th will be our first Sunday at Liberty Village Market. I am SO excited. We have been low on Lettuce and other greens since mid May during the "Heat Wave" that caused many of our crops to either bolt or succumb to the shade caused by the enormous weeds that were loving the heat. We have finally repleted our supply of greens and have several nice gardens coming along well.
This Saturday's Brickworks Market saw the first batch of the special salad mix "Cosmic Blend" sold. If you are one of the lucky few who had a chance to taste it then we are hoping to hear your comments about it next week. The Cosmic Blend features many more types and quantity of herbs and flowers as well as microgreens and corn shoots. Yesterday it featured Tiger Lilly flowers!!!

Follow Us on Twitter @kindorganics. You can have up-dates texted dirtectly to your phone!!!

Tamas and George are building the skeleton of the new greenhouse this weekend, it seems to be going well despite the deluge of rain this morning.
Special Thanks to Dave who is working with us for 2 weeks to learn more about Organic Farming. He has been a great help so far.
Thanks also to all who came out to the Brickworks Market in the rain on Saturday, I love that it is such a hub of activity! I hope everyone has a Glowing Full Moon.
Sandra Dombi

June 14, 2010

Liberty Village Update.  


Hi Again All,
I realize that I have been remiss in letting everyone know that we do not have enough lettuce and other greens planted to add another Market at this time. We will be delaying our Market start at Liberty until the last week of June at the earliest. And that is if the weather co-operates. We were unprepared for that last heat wave which caused many of the greens to bolt and ALL of the weeds to grow exponentially. We just couldn't keep up. There are more greens planted but they are still too young to harvest. We are also having 2 more woofers arrive this week and that will greatly help us get ahead with respect to the WEEDS.
You can still get your Kind Organics Greens and sprouts at Brickworks, Dufferin Grove and Sorauren Markets. We will also be at Wychwood this Saturday! Come on by.

Our Asian Greens are looking GREAT this week and BUCKWHEAT sprouts are back!

See you soon!
Sandra Dombi

June 6, 2010

Things are ramping up  


Well, you can tell that the season is getting busy since the blogging is getting more sparse. The Asparagus patch is mostly gone to seed now so I imagine that there will be little to harvest tomorrow morning before the Sorauren market. We have recently (1.5 weeks ago) planted a large portion of the back field next to the forest and also the back of Mr Chan's property next door. We are trying to get caught up on planting so that we won't be out of things like arugula or spinach. One of the limiting factors for us is Weeding. We only allot 1 person one day per week for weeding (since everyone else is so busy). Luckily Amber LOVES weeding so Tuesdays are weeding days for her. If we can get the weeds under control then our yeild will be significantly higher and we will be able to expand to one more market per week on Sundays. We have one new Wwoofer, Sayaka, who is a Great help and we are looking forward to 2 more coming to live with us in mid June. Extra manpower will go a long way to help us getting our harvesting yeilds up too. I am so excited to have more people on board.

The "Asian Green" Bed has been doing AMAZING! We even made a new Asian Green blend called "Esteem" blend. This bed was made from well composted organic soil from our sprouting trays from last year. This also means that the weeds in that garden consist largely of sunflowers and peas. I can't wait to see the sunflowers in bloom!

We have acquired a "NEW" greenhouse from down the street and will be erecting it as soon as possible. This will allow us to use one greenhouse for sprouts and one for flowers and herbs. Yesterday Tamas mowed down and plowed under the current greenhouse on our property so bye lettuce, hello seedlings. This will also let us get the seedlings out of the downstairs seminar space so we can host our courses there now.

Thanks for reading!

Sandra Dombi

May 10, 2010

Asparagus time  


Hello everyone,

It is Asparagus time at Kind Organics. Last Thursday was our pilot project with selling Asparagus. I'd love to hear from those who bought some, how was it? Our Asparagus plot is anywhere from 5-7 years old and has not been tended to properly in the past so this time we are planning to do an experimental harvest and see how much care is needed to bring in a full crop. Secretly I have always wanted an Asparagus garden, and now inheriting this one is a dream come true. It requires a lot of weeding though, the weeds have a well established network from the years of neglect, and they are just reaching the point of being taller than the Asparagus so it makes the vegetables hard to see. Amber put a few hours into it the other day and I have been trying to weed one bed per day but lately it has been too cold! I have noticed how much they bolt up after a big rain like the ones we've been having lately. A perfect time to harvest them is in the morning after dropping our son off at the bus, the garden is on the way back to the house so I stop and harvest the new shoots then.

The Weather has veered away from the "Bright, Sunny and Warm every day" pattern of April and we have had a lot of rain in May (Which is GREAT! and a little too much at the same time). I don't feel that it is a good idea to complain about rain when last month we were needing it so much. So far the crops are dealing with the deluge well. Tamas and Amber created a "Raised" garden on the far side of the greenhouse, using last year's well composted soil, that is helping to keep the rain water from flooding into the greenhouse. There is definitely a reduction in flooding! On another weather note, last night there was a frost warning so we had to make sure all the greens were tucked in, under their nice thick row covers. Just a reminder that it is still spring and frost is still a possibility.

We are gearing up for a busy season. We will be attending 3 Markets this weekend and then starting on the last weekend of May we will be at 4 Markets per week. The Sorauren Monday Afternoon Farmers Market goes into full swing this Monday the 15th of May. If the weather is nice then we will be outside in the park. If the weather is too cold then we'll probably be in the small building at the south end of the park. We will be here every Monday here after from 3pm-7pm. Be sure to drop by if you live in the area. We are still at Dufferin Grove every Thursday Afternoon from 3-7pm and we will be at the Brickworks regularly on Saturdays from 8am-1pm. To get to the brickworks there are shuttle busses from the TTC stations near by and it is also on the bike path. They are opening new parking spots this year too. The Market is on Bayview north of the DVP on and off ramps. This Market will be opening up on May 29th, coinciding with the Doors Open festival.

We are so happy that the sun is back out today.
Sandra and the Kind Organics Team

April 21, 2010

Recovering from a Hectic Week  


"I'd like to thank all those who have been visiting the website and reading the blog and dropping by markets due to the posts on Facebook. Actually this social networking and blogging thing seems to have some merit. I write these blogs and don't really know who's getting them and reading them. Will someone please try to post a comment to the WEBSITE at so we can see if the comment section is working. We appreciate it.

To our amazement the fermented veggies are selling really well. Let us know at the market what you think about the sauerkraut and the root kimchi. We are also really excited to announce that we will be launching a small batch of Kind Kombucha for this Dufferin market (approx 10 bottles) We give a warm THANKS to Kevin for all his hard work, on both the bottling and on himself!"

We have begun planting outside in the last few weeks and harvesting the new batch from the greenhouses which is still young but plentiful. The "Earth Blend" salad mix is here for a short time, this is the blend with the flowers, we are using arugula and mustard flowers to begin with. Most of the flowering plants are just recently transplanted and wont be producing flowers until about 3 weeks from now. The days just are not long enough yet. The "Earth Blend" is a little more tender than the Spring Salad Blend and also contains sweet NON-GMO Corn shoots for a zingy taste experience.

New products this week are: Sprouted Yellow Peas, Onion and Chive Blend, Fava Bean Sprouts, Sprouted Wheat and Kamut, Dandelion Greens, Curly Cress and Kombucha Live -Fermented Green Tea Drink. See the photo here.

This week we will also be featuring a Purple Sauerkraut!

Thanks to everyone for all your support.


Kind Organics Team

April 10, 2010

Transplanting Weekend  


This weekend was one of those "work really hard and get lots of things done" weekends. George came over and as usual him and Tamas worked non-stop to Clean up and fix things and move things and build things and fix the tractor and ... I on the otherhand worked diligently on the single task of transplanting the seedlings that we planted on March 3rd (at least the ones that survived). This was a tremendously pleasurable task once I got things rolling. It took me a long time to figure out which plants would get priority as far as transplanting. Then I decided that we need more room in the sprouting room this week (since we have 3 markets in a row coming up) so I will transplant as many of those seedlings as possible, leaving the ones by the window to continue in their starter trays. I also re-potted all those tall lanky seedlings into something more comfortable.

Tamas and George also tilled 2 of the greenhouses without plastic covers, ready for planting on Monday. Hooray! Our first semi out door crop! We will be covering the seeds with a heavy row cover so they sprout but dont get too cold. We have to remember that it is still very early in the season eventhough the weather has been so nice. There is still frost in the mornings.

We will have our first batch of salad with flowers this week at least for one of the markets. We have Mustard flowers and Arugula flowers. YAY! The flowers always make me feel so Happy!

The greenhouse doors on 3 of the green houses now open all the way thanks to Tamas and George. It seems that the ground is still frozen behind the greenhouses. Likely because they face North and don't get any sun back there.
Tamas has acquired a fertilizer spreader and mower attachment for the tractor. All second hand and the spreader needed some welding. Thanks to Romano in Bradford for all his help fixing that piece of equipment up.

Kevin will be bottling the first batch of fermented veggies, kimchi and organic live raw sauerkraut this weekend. We will be working on the labels and pamphlets later this week too. I am so excited about this new product line coming to Kind Organics.

We now are updating our blog on our website as well as on blogger. This will continue for a short time until I figure things out completely. So far I cannot add photos to the website blog.
We will be at Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday from 3-7pm and Wychwood Barns on Saturday from 8am-1pm and then at Sorauren indoor market next Monday from 3-7pm.

Kind Regards,

April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend 2010  


Sunday April 4th 2010

What unseasonably beautiful weather we are having. (Not complaining) Our lettuce that we planted in early March will be ready to harvest in about a week and we will have a lot! The spinach however is confused and thinks it is summer and wants to bolt. We are trying to keep it cool but that is difficult in 25*C deg. weather. We have sourced another organic type of late bolting spinach that we will plant this week to enjoy a longer season. Our spinach has been so popular at the markets that we are trying not to run out of it but we may see a few dry weeks.
We did a little SPRING CLEANING last week. Frankie came over fortuitously on the morning of the clean-up with his chain saw and was willing to help chop up some logs that have been lying on the ground since last fall. THANKS FRANKIE!
Amber did a lot of tidy-up around the property too and it looks just perfect to start the new year fresh.
We have an exciting new crop option for this year, ASPARAGUS! Mr Chan has been letting his Asparagus garden do it's own thing for 5 years and we have now taken over the stewardship for it. Hopefully this will be a bumper crop too. Julia and Michael helped Tamas clear out the brush from the last few years to offer the best conditions possible for the baby spears to grow. Not much to see yet but we'll keep you posted! This will be our first experiment with Asparagus but for many years we have been intrigued with growing it as it is one of MY favourite spring veggies.
People at the markets have been loving our wild-crafted stinging Nettles and Chickweed. Great for a spring internal cleansing. The best way to cook stinging nettle is to boil some water and put the steamer pan on top. Then carefully (without touching the Nettle) dump the bag into the steamer and let it steam for 2 minutes. Then add salt or herbs to taste. It is a fabulous tonic as quoted her from Vitality Magazine: (See link) by making it into a tea and drinking with honey.
Chickweed is a popular salad additive and tonic also.

We also potted some Nasturtiums into hanging baskets. We will be doing a lot more hanging baskets this year and that hopefully means a lot more flowers!

This week we will be at Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday from 3-7pm.


March 30, 2010

WHAT !!! -18 deg. C???  


Last Weekend of March 2010

This weekend the temp is dropping to -18*C overnight. We ran around to all the greenhouses (Unheated) and covered as many of the crops as we could with row covers, tucking them in and wishing them a good night. I instructed them to "cuddle up with their neighbors to keep warm".

There were not enough row covers for all the crops so some of the seedlings are on their own. This will be a true test of their hardiness.

We are growing in 6 Greenhouses so far this year.

Remember to drop by Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday s from 3-7pm to get your greens, sprouts, and early Spring Salad mixes. We will be wildcrafting Stinging Nettle and Chickweed as part of our Spring Detox series.

Thanks to Julia (our Wwoofer) and George for all their help in the recent weeks.


March 19, 2010

A New Season is Upon Us  


March 18th, 2010

Well, green houses have been seeded with lettuces and sprouts have been started. And what a week for it too. Sunny and 16 deg. Celcius. We have to store the sprouts inside at night due to the overnight temperatures but in the day we have been letting them bask in the sunlight and the heat. We are using our large workshop for this task. Tamas has a brand new forklift for this task. No more 2x4 makeshift fork lifts for Kind Organics. The greenhouses will be full time Lettuce producers until we can go outside and then the sprouts will move back into the greenhouses.

We are selling at 3 different farmers markets this spring and many more come late May. We will be at Dufferin Grove Thursdays 3-7, Wychwood Barns on Saturday mornings (8-12) once a month on the 3rd Saturday of the month, and Monthly on the second Monday of the Month we frequent Sorauren Market from 3-7pm. It would be great to see you there.

At the end of May the Market schedule will be changing so keep an eye out for times and places.

Kind Team.

October 16, 2009

It is getting cold but we are at markets until the END of October/1st of November  


Thanks to Howard for the FANTASTIC photo shoot, we have some cold weather shots with Lettuce!!!

We are successfully heating our greeenhouse with wood and this requires waking up every 3 hours like it is a baby and feeding the fire. We are on shifts to do this effectively. It will be sad when the George and our woofer (Jean) leaves and we are left to our own devices.
We will be updating everyone on our winter locations and likely blogging a lot more as winter comes slowly but surely. We have had many frosts so far and have switched to more cold weather crops for the next 2 months.
Flowers are on the decline so our famous FLOWER blend will be slowly retired over the next few weeks and new salad blends will emerge. Look for Spinach, Kale and Asian Greens this week.
Kind Regards,
Sandra Dombi

September 8, 2009

New Locations  


For all those that have arrived here to find out our 4 locations: Here they are...

Wednesdays: Bloor/Borden Farmer's Market 3pm-7pm (Bathurst and Bloor)
Thursdays: East Lynn Farmer's Market 3pm-7pm (Woodbine and Danforth)
Saturdays: St. Andrews Farmer's Market 9am-1pm (Adelaide and Brant st)
Sundays: Liberty Village Farmer's Market 9am-2pm (Liberty st and Antlantic)

Farm: 18415 Keele St, Newmarket, ON. L3Y 4V9

Phone: 416-992-1444 (leave Mssg or order)
Sandra's Cell: 416-525-9849

Our Website should be online soon... stay tuned.

Our first Month has been a great success Thank you to all our fabulous customers. Farming has been both fulfilling and intense. So busy that we have not had time to write much about it. Thanks to all for your well wishes and inquiries.

Sandra Dombi

July 11, 2009

What a productive week!!!  


Well Kind Organics had a VERY productive week thanks to George, Amber and Brian. We managed to erect the plastic on the green house and build the doors and wire the electrical, and plant 26 new trays of seedlings and plant the rest of the back garden full of lettuce and even to till under a portion of the weeds that were happily growing around the transplanted veggies from the mini greenhouse. Tamas also tilled all of the rest of the plots-to-be-planted and the poison ivy is close to dead.

This week was really exciting, thrilling, fulfilling and disappointing :( Exciting to accomplish so much; Putting up the Plastic on the greenhouse was thrilling; it was Fulfilling to plant so many seeds and Disappointing to see how little everything has been growing since the rainfalls of last week. We are looking at amending the soil and thinning the weeds as well as using row covers to keep out the bugs. All and all it just needs more attention more of the time. Which is challenging, especially when we are trying to clear the land of stumps and garbage and build structures at the same time as gardening. It will be much easier when we are living on the property to keep tabs on what is going on. Tamas has been there every day from morning until 8-9pm every night and I (Sandra) have been stopping by in the evening after work or all day if I am off. Last week was frustrating due to the rain but this week made up for it in spades.
We re-organized the greenhouse and planted many trays of edible flowers. We discovered why you don't leave the greenhouse doors closed in summer as the temperature soars to 50 deg. C. Tamas could not walk in more than half way before he felt like passing out. (Now that we have the electrical working, we can rely on the fans for air exchange). Brian took many hours to help Tamas with the electrical installation, much appreciated!

The raising of the plastic was the hardest physical labour to date on this project. Tamas, Amber and George did it by themselves and had an unfortunate run in with the wind half way through. When I got there to help out they were all exhausted and covered in dirt. We all helped to attach the plastic to the frame with "Wiggle Wire" which is an ingenious way to attach plastic to metal framing without making holes in the plastic.

Since the flood wiped out much hope of getting a good harvest from the last batch of planted lettuce, I planted 30 rows of new lettuce and diligently covered them with white row covers to keep bugs out. Some of the other lettuces have been eaten by bugs so we are trying a new method and learning as we go along. I finally got to try my hand at tilling with a tiller. Very exciting and powerful! The way it rips up all those weeds and powers itself along. Ours is a pretty small tiller so it is not really that powerful, but I rarely use machinery so to me it was quite thrilling.

Tamas devised a way of creating a fork lift to pull all the large skids into the greenhouse allong with the furnace. I'm not sure what we would have done if the forklift plan had failed, but it didn't and now we have a lovely organized greenhouse. George helped immensely this week going up every day to lend a hand, thank you Tata!

And lastly we had the first REAL fire in our new fire pit. YAY!

Kind Regards,
Sandra Dombi

July 3, 2009

Be careful what you wish for... you could get what you want AND MORE!!!  


Rain. We wished for it, and it came in droves!! We have not been able to work the land since Sunday, and now it is Friday. We went to check out the situation yesterday since Toronto has had very little rain. WOAHHHH, 3 1/2 inches of rain has fallen since Sunday and all the gardens are under water!!! Now we can see the value of aised garden beds. Initially we did not raise the beds because we really needed to plant as soon as possible and we largely missed the planning phase (March-May), then we did not go for raised beds because we did not have the proper tools to create them quickly and easily. Well it is always good to learn something new. RAISE THE BEDS. I know that there are other reasons as well that raised beds are better. For instance:

  • Raised beds warm more quickly in spring, allowing you to work the soil and plant earlier.
  • Raised beds drain better.
  • The soil in raised beds doesn't get compacted, because they are constructed with accessibility in mind.
  • It's easy to tailor the soil for your raised bed to the plants you plan to grow there.
  • After the initial construction process, raised beds require less maintenance than conventional garden beds.

As soon as we get in there I'll be tilling the weeds and raising the soil around the plants to increase drainage. Hopefully I'll be able to work the soil as of Tomorrow. Today we won't be waisting another trip up to the property for nothing.

Unlike tomatoes, lettuces love the water, so the lettuces are doing well. So are the weeds. Since all the gardens are in various degrees of tillage, it is easy to see that the ones which were left longer in order to kill off all the grass and weeds are MUCH less weedy. At least the Lettuces are turning over quickly so we'll get another chance soon to do it right. We also have to get our row covers out of storage so we can reduce the heat on the lettuces and also the bugs that are likely to find them as tasty as we do.

The potatoes are looking GREAT! They are so robust. Some of the soil has washed away from the roots though so we really have to get in there as soon as possible for proper maintenance.

And in Greenhouse news, we are still needing to complete the other end of the structure, get the furnace inside and put the plastic on. hopefully this will be completed this weekend, weather and help dependent.

Regarding accommodations, We have arranged with a friend who lives around the corner from the farm that we could move in with him for August 1st if the drama with the farm property continues past the court date on July 14th. (it was moved up) Thus we will be leaving Toronto regardless by August 1st!!! YAY. Lets hope the weather is more moderate this week. WE need a couple of hot sunny days to dry out the fields and then intermittant rain towards the end of the week until we figure out the irrigation situation.

Thanks Kindly for reading.
Sandra and Tamas Dombi

June 28, 2009

Another plant-a-thon.  


Happy Rainy Sunday everyone,
yesterday, in anticipation of the rain we did a huge plant of lettuces and other greens. The last plant date for lettuces was June 17th (10 days ago), a good spacing I think. Using this seeder I seeded 64 rows of lettuces and other types of greens (roughly 25 types) so hopefully the rain will bring them to life and we will have many rows of seedlings in a few days. The Garden you see in the photo above is one of three that were planted with lettuces. The posts and lines are irrigation which will only water a portion of the garden. We'll have to use a different method for the middle rows. Luckily the clouds and rain will do some of the work for us over the next week, as they have been doing so far. This is a good thing for us since our pump is not strong enough to take water all the way to the garden and we are currently exploring other options.

While I was tromping through the dirt, Tamas was building one end-wall of the greenhouse. It looks great and the fan is in. All this side needs now is a door. The cordless saw has been a good friend to the greenhouse this week, removing old rusty nails from the track along the bottom and cutting the large sheets of plywood to fit the shape of the greenhouse. Still lots to do before the plastic goes on.

We secured a much needed "FREE WASHING MACHINE" from our gracious neighbors across the street. This will be perfect for lettuce spinning, all we need before the first harvest is a place to plug it in and access to the well water for washing. The last big step is to move into the house. This is one of the most important steps and the one whose delay is becoming a source of emotional torment as the months pass. We really just want to be in there so that we can work the land from sunrise (ha ha ha) until sunset instead of driving up from our place in the city 7 times a week. Access to a washroom and drinking water would be nice too.

We have some lovely patches of red clover and rows and rows of plantain leaves growing wild. Hopefully the time will allow for some herb drying for teas. Can't wait to see what other wild medicinal herbs we find.

Thank you KINDLY for reading...
Sandra Dombi

June 21, 2009

The Greenhouse is up!  


The basic skeleton of the greenhouse was completed today. I am very happy with how smoothly things went and how straight it all looks (not bad for the first time). Many, many thanks to Jeff for helping to do the layout and measure the foundation, Frank and Mike for the very grueling work of pounding the steaks into the ground, Amber and Sandra for their help with the finer points of erecting the greenhouse and Eric for his expertise and strength. Also a big thank you to Tom for stopping by with the champagne when it was all said and done.

There's a few more days of work to be done on the greenhouse and I hope to finish it all this week so that I can begin growing sprouts and wheat grass. The garden is starting to show signs of growing. A couple of days ago I planted about 20 varieties of Lettuce for our Salad mixes and today I noticed that many of them are sprouting. Last week we finished transplanting the plants from the small greenhouse to the garden. I forgot about the very important rule of hardening the plants off prior to planting outdoors so most of the plants went into shock. After a few days of stunted growth and a few rows of lost plants there is evidence of new growth and recovery.

Many thanks again to all the volunteers/friends that have come up to help, all this work would not have been done without you!

Lots of Love!


June 19, 2009

Planting at the Kind Farm  


Week of June 14-20th

Well, another busy and exciting week at the farm. With some help from Amber and George on Tuesday we got ALL the potatoes planted in the back garden. This is a great garden for potatoes and they need little water (rain will do) and the irrigation does not reach that far anyway. There are still 2 rows left for the heirloom corn that we are planting (also a good grow on it's own type crop) right next to the potatoes. According to the "companion planting" biodynamic handbook that we are attempting to follow, these two plant types thrive together.
We got the potatoes from a long time heirloom potato farmer in the seed saver's exchange catalogue. He was remarkably generous with us, we now have 8 varieties of heirloom potatoes with strains dating back to the 1800's. I hope we can do them justice. Also, speaking of irrigation, Tamas set up the irrigation hose from Mr. Chan's new pond to the garden. We did the first hand watering on the plants transplanted from the greenhouse last week from the large blue catch basin, not ideal but we will be able to set up the sprinkler next week once we get another length of irrigation hose from Carl. Luckily there has been sufficient rain for the transplants to thrive thus far. Though suffering from initial shock, they look miraculously healthy. Except the Cucumbers. After only a few days in the ground, the cucumber beetles descended from who knows where and were all over the tiny little plants. since we only have 12 of them, we may be short on cucumbers this year.

This was our first foray into hand picking beetles from the plants. Lady Bugs won't be much help with these guys since they are bigger than the average Lady Bug. I didn't take a photo since I was in panic mode but Here is one from the internet. Tamas sprayed them down with a soap solution the next day so perhaps we will be able to salvage some of the cukes. I am optimistic at this point. Lastly Tamas planted 12+ rows of the first lettuces so that we will have some product to take with us to market in July. Lettuces should be planted every week to keep up the supply.

It also looks like we are down to the last 2 bags of garbage. (Perhaps a bit optimistic of me) Tamas was able to cultivate the field and the greenhouse area. So far the greenhouse is staked and measured for the big day on Sunday.

We'll see some of you tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!

Sandra and Tamas.

June 9, 2009

Greenhouse going UP!  


Hi everyone!! Guess what? It is finally time to put UP the GREENHOUSE. We are planning a work party this weekend to get the job done as efficiently as possible. If anyone is interested in helping out please contact us as soon as possible.

In other news, the new tractor has been quite an experience. We had tilled almost 2 of the fields and then the gear shifter plate broke preventing it from going into reverse. Luckily the problem is minor and we found a mechanic willing to fix it for us for a nominal fee. It will take a couple of days to fix and will be returning to full function soon. The Mechanic said that the rest of the Tractor looked to be in great condition, which is a relief. In the meantime a fellow farmer has offered to disk the fields for us so we can get SOME planting done. Once the greenhouse is up, a lot more options will be open to us as far as growing conditions.

The "MOVING IN" part of the farm experience is still on hold as we wait for the previous tenant to move out. This is very frustrating, though not entirely unexpected. The slow start is exasperated by not being able to spend long hours on the property nor being able to store things on there. Luckily the neighbor Mr. Chan has been kind enough to let us use some of his storage facilities to store equipment, pots and the bare bones of the greenhouse. It will be a great relief when the greenhouse is finally up and planting begins for real.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned for more...
Kind Regards,
Sandra Dombi

May 31, 2009

New Tractor and Greenhouse Tear Down  


Hello Everyone,

My apologies for the alignment of the photos, its one of the draw backs of Blogger (or at least my proficiency level with it). I find I have to trick it into aligning things properly, but I don't have half an hour to put into that at the moment.

There's been a lot going on internally and externally since the last time I have written. The greenhouse came down (intentionally) a few weeks ago. Special thanks to Michael, Eric, Jeff, Brian, Harry and Caelian for their help. I've been spending 4-5 days a week on the land trying to get it ready for plowing, tilling and planting. There have been many obstacles these past few weeks: Getting stopped on the highway hauling a trailer that needs work and being detained for a couple of hours while I found a tow truck driver, to pay $20 dollars to, for a missing bolt that he proceeded to take off of his own wheel in order to sell to me, is one. The present tenant in the house refusing to leave and slowing the process down is another. I am finding myself in the middle of a war between the tenant and the landlord in which the bailiff has been called in to physically evict the present tenant, though this might not happen until the middle of July. I have to keep putting my attention on the long term benefit of what we are doing and keep enjoying myself regardless of these external circumstances. I tend to want things to happen quickly and when other people are not involved its easy but in this case there are may circumstances out of my control so cultivating patience is sometimes all I can do (except maybe spiral into a negative state but I choose not to)... The plants in the small greenhouse are beyond ready to plant outdoors! They are outgrowing their containers and the roots are getting pot bound, but the land is not ready to receive them yet. I have been relying on my landlord for the use of his tractor and a neighbor who said he would get the land tilled for me...more than a month later its still not done so yesterday I went out and got a tractor with implements to begin doing it myself, with all the rain we have had it will be at least a few more days before I can begin. I have been patient with the landlord and the tenant but its time to push things along, the season is going by very quickly, its scary really. On the upside, much work has been achieved on the property, its only a few days away from tilling. Tuesday I pick up the tractor and if the ground is dry enough there is an acre I can begin tilling right away. Special thanks to Jamie and Jean-Paul as well for their dedication to helping me a dozen times or so in the somewhat grueling work of clearing the land. The website is far from complete but the backbone of it is done and has a lot of potential. I haven't had the chance to upload content to the website in the past few weeks and to be honest I though that there would be more done by Switch Marketing and less by me but that's how it goes. Anyway here's a few photos of the tractor and the greenhouse being taken down.

Here's some of the things we will be doing this week: moving the greenhouse over to the property and bringing some free shelving for the greenhouse from Loblaws in Toronto. We will be continuing the seemingly never ending task of clearing the land and delivering the tractor and implements. If the weather is dry we may finaly begin some planting.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned for more...
Lots of Love!

May 14, 2009

This may be the last post for a while.  


Hello all. We have been very busy since the last post. I will try to put some photos up soon, its been hard to whip out the camera in the middle of intensive work. Today we finished a three day project of digging a ditch along one side of the property. With the amount of rain we have been having it became necessary to do so. The ground has been very wet and the water has had nowhere to go. We began a few days ago by cutting down all the willows (bushes) that were growing in the ditch and removing it all took another day of work. We bought a van a few days ago for the purpose of transporting organic goods to Toronto. We think we have finalized the selection process for the farmers markets that we will be at, it looks like we will stick with four a week for the time being. There will be more info on times and dates posted to our new website soon. This blog will likely be coming to a hault for a while as we transfer all the data over to the new site. In a few days we should have a very nice site (but still in construction phase) courtesy of Andrew Angus and Lindsay Boyd from Switch Marketing.

Monday we will be taking the greenhouse apart and getting it ready for transport to the new property. There has been progress this week in clearing the land and prepping it for tilling and we will be continuing that next week.

We wish you all a happy long weekend!!!

May 2, 2009

May 2nd Update  


I suppose up till now I have only posted when I had something external to share. It doesn't always occur to me to share whats going on inside but I created this blog for both. Come June (if things proceed according to schedule) this blog will be replaced with a more formal website for Kind Organics.

Since I began this commitment to start the farm and do what it takes to get there, I have had many nights where it has been difficult to fall asleep. I am usually awake in bed tossing and turning till about 2am these days. Sometimes I am lying awake in excitement about where my life is heading, at other times I am awake processing what the next steps are to continue the journey towards my vision. But a lot of the time there is also fear, lots and lots of fear. Fear of what I'm doing, of the magnitude of it. Fear of how much work its going to be & if I am up to it at the fragile age of 33 :). I have a lot of recovering to do in order to get my body back up to the stamina and well being of where it was at in my twenties. Working in real estate over the past five years has meant a lot of sitting around and driving and not a lot of movement and exercise. The so called panic attack symptoms that started on Dec 4th 2008, are mostly gone but every once in a while another one comes and then I feel fatigued for a few days and have trouble breathing (cant afford to take a few days off once I am farming). June is going to be very busy! Within the first two weeks I need to paint the house and do some repairs, tear down the greenhouse, move it and put it up on the new property, till, disc and harrow the ground, build beds and plant seeds. I need to build a walk-in fridge and about 1000 feet of shelves for the greenhouse (I should be doing all of that now but we cant get the place till June), oh yeah and then there's the little matter of packing and moving. Any help would be most welcome, I dare not ask our family, they have helped us soo much already (through countless moves), I feel indebted to them on many levels. There is also the financial fear; taking another financial risk in my life. I have taken many risks before and fear hasn't stopped me but this time the stakes are higher and I feel more intense about it (I have my family to think about). I am also scared for Sasha; He is starting grade 1 next year, it will be at a new school in Kettleby. We visited the school last week and its very institutional, a far cry from Alpha alternative where he has been for the past 2 years. We have a picture on our fridge of Sasha lying on top of an older boy he looks up to who is reading a book to him. They are lying on a couch in their class room. Its safe to say we can kiss those kind of bonds goodbye, that kind of affection gets children labeled with a problem in a regular public school. I am sure Sasha will adjust (he is very good at that) but adjusting and thriving are of different orders.

I know that once everything is set up, things are growing and I have succesfully sold at a few farmers markets things will settle down, I will feel more secure. Its hard right now because there is so much that needs to be done and I cant do most of it for another month. (Just need to stay in the creative void for now I guess.)

On a technical note; I haven't been able to fix the glitch with posting comments yet, thanks to those that have commented by email. I will look into it further but this site is a temporary measure while we are working on something more "professional" to replace it (there will still be a blog section). Thanks for reading and much love to you all!

April 27, 2009

Checking on the Greenhouse.  

Went up to inspect the plastic on the greenhouse today on account of the large wind/storm we had a few days ago. There were a few small holes that we taped up with clear duct tape (yup they have clear now). There wasn't any real damage but the plastic has loosened/stretched significantly and if it continues to stretch, it might tear open. The inflation fan stopped working over a month ago and without it running the plastic is able to blow in the wind. We also noticed that the plastic is buried over a foot under the ground so its going to take a fair bit of work to remove it without damage. We are hoping to salvage the plastic for at least another year of use, the cost per sheet is $400 and 2 are needed. Looking forward to taking this apart and setting it up on the new property.

Edible Flower Seeds  

I took a trip down to Dundas, Ontario to visit William Dam Seeds, one of the oldest seed companies in Ontario. I read somewhere that William Dam seeds has been selling only untreated seeds since the owner got sick some 40-50 years ago. Inspired by a new encyclopedia that I picked up featuring vegetables, edible flowers, herbs and fruit, I bought a bunch of edible flower seeds and planted them in the greenhouse the next day. (Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar & Bob Flowerdew)

Ladybugs win the battle (for now).  

Well the title gives it all away. The ladybugs have been eating the aphids, and the odd white fly which came home with a few mint plants I got from Richter's Herbs last week. There's still a few aphids on the tomato plants, the ladybugs don't seem to like being on the tomato plants very much but most of them are gone and the slightly damaged plants seem to be making a come back. So far it took 3 releases of ladybugs, roughly a couple hundred each time, they tend to fly away when the door and windows are opened for ventilation (except for the dead ones). Do they fly back to the place I bough them? Probably!

April 21, 2009


Yesterday to my horror, I discovered that there has been some significant pest damage to several Tomato and Borage plants in the greenhouse. They were not yet beyond recovery but I needed to do something fast. After looking through a few books and taking some close up shots, (I have included one here), I discovered that the pest in question is a type of Aphid known as green peach. Aphids have two stages of life, most commonly they are seen flying around as tiny black fly's with rather large wings for their body size, but in the first stage they are little green insects that crawl all over your plants sucking the life out of them!

So, today I drove up to Brampton to a warehouse that specializes in selling beneficial insects to large greenhouse operations, and bought the smallest quantity of ladybugs they would sell me. The cotton bag in this photo is filled with 3,000 ladybugs. After driving back, I released a few hundred of them into the greenhouse and put the rest back in the foam cooler they came in and placed it in the fridge. As this was my first time, it was a bit creepy intentionally opening a bag with 3,000 bugs in it! At first sign the ladybugs don't seem to be doing much, just crawling around, I even put a few right on the aphids and they just kept walking as if uninterested. I was told the ladybugs would survive in the fridge for 4-8 weeks. I will release some more in the next few days into the greenhouse and continue to monitor the infestation problem. Don't worry, I will end up releasing the left over ladybugs outdoors instead of letting them pass away in the fridge.

Its been interesting researching beneficial insects, there's many natural predators to common insect problems, its very encouraging (in theory) to know that "good" can prevail over "evil" without the use of pesticides. I will update the blog on what happens. There are other bugs I can get if the ladybugs don't work out, worst case scenario there's always the praying mantis, although the idea of a few dozen 5-inch bugs crawling around in the greenhouse sends shivers up my spine (and not the good kind!). Also praying mantises will eat the beneficial bugs as well not just the ones that damage crops.

April 19, 2009


Haven't written in a while but things have been moving forward very fast. We completed registration for several websites that host volunteering on farms info. Got some temporary business cards made, we still have to work on a logo we like, received and began filling out the paperwork for Organic Certification. Just in the process of getting our final seed orders for lettuce mixtures and sprouts together for the year. I am looking forward to taking soil and water samples from the property on Wednesday and delivering them for analysis to the University of Guelph. It feels so good to be finally doing what I have been dreaming of for so many years!

The seedlings in the greenhouse are growing well. The Micro-green and sprout tests continue, and there's lots more planting to be done. I have received all of the edible flower seeds that I ordered from Richters Herbs, there's about 20 different varieties that we are starting with this year in our salad blends.

Our friend Dean went to a farmers auction last night to get us some implements for the tractor, not sure how he made out yet but there will be plenty more auctions to get good used equipment from for a low price.

This week will be busy getting all the paperwork together for organic certification and running around tying up loose ends. I also need to work on the tiller and get it going this week.

I cant help but wonder, is anyone subscribed to this blog and is anyone reading what I am writing?