News and Blog
Just want to let everyone know that we'll be at the Main Farmers' Market in Ottawa this Saturday, June 23rd. We'll be selling whatever has survived this heat wave! :-)
But seriously, that should include strawberries, peas (shell, snow, and sugar snap) mesclun mix, kohlrabi, kale, beta mix, garlic scapes, head lettuce, baby bok choi, yukina savoy, and maybe one or two other things. Hope to see you there!
I snapped the above photo this morning, just after we pulled the plastic off our greenhouse - with warm temperatures and calm winds, it was the perfect day to take on the long-delayed task of replacing the cover on our greenhouse. Thankfully, we got the new plastic on late in the afternoon, just as the breeze was picking up, so we should be set for about another five years!
The reason I'm posting the photo here is because it shows a few of the many plants we're growing for sale to others this spring (these happen to be "Rose de Berne" heirloom tomato seedlings). We've got almost 20 varieties of tomatoes for sale, along with peppers, eggplant, winter squash, summer squash, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and broccoli.
The first chance to add some of these to your own garden is coming up this Saturday, March 19th, when we'll be selling at the Main Farmers' Market on Main St. in Ottawa, from 9am to 2pm. We'll be bringing as many plants as we can and will try to guess which will be most popular, but if you want to be sure to get exactly the varieties you want, check out our on-line store (just move your mouse over the "Order On-line..." menu item on the left side of your screen and click on "Organic Plants" to see all the details). By placing your order in advance, we'll know exactly which plants to bring and can even assemble your order in advance (though you'll always be free to select the plants that "speak to you" if that's your wish!).
Can't make it to the market on Saturday? If you live in the Pontiac and would like to come to the farm to pick up some plants, please get in touch. There's also the possibility of making deliveries into the Ottawa area in the next couple of weeks, too.
We're really looking forward to the market on Saturday, and with this beautiful weather, don't be surprised if the plants pictured above are much larger by then -- things are really jumping this time of year! Hope to see you there!
P.S. Our greenhouse beds will also be yielding a succulent supply of tender young greens (mesclun mixes and arugula) for Saturday's market, too!
We're back! (Well, we never really went anywhere, but there hasn't been too much to report, farm-wise, over the past few months.) That's changing quickly - the greenhouse is filling up with tender seedlings, the fields are being cultivated in preparation for seeds, cover crops, and transplants, and we were even able to do the earliest spring seeding last Friday, consisting of peas, carrots, spinach, Swiss chard, mesclun, dandelion, faba beans, turnips, radishes, and parsnips. (With the return of colder weather this week, though, there's still not much sign of life out there, but a little warm rain this weekend should give everything a nice boost!
For the latest news from the farm, "like" Songberry Organic Farm on Facebook or follow @songberryfarm on Twitter (I'll try to post regular updates here, too, but it's hard to compete with the convenience of tweeting or posting right from the field or greenhouse!)
Now on to the really big news. After much reflection and debate, we are doing things a little differently this year when it comes to selling our vegetables. Saturdays at the Main Street Farmers' Market have been the highlight of our weeks for the past two years: we love the chance to get to know the people who eat what we grow face-to face. But as a family with two young children, family and friends spread far and wide, and a diversity of personal interests, acheiving the right balance in our lives is an ongoing challenge. In light of this, we are going to be scaling back our market presence this season. Instead of attending every week, we plan on selling at the Main Market once a month, hopefully in conjunction with the harvest of some of our most popular items.
Our first market, for example, will be on Saturday, May 19th and we'll have all of our transplants ready for sale, including a wide variety of the heirloom tomatoes that were so popular last year. We'll also be "opening" our on-line store in a couple of weeks in order to give you a chance to order items in advance, and we may explore other ways to use this on-line store to get vegetables to our fans as the seaon progresses.
The bulk of our vegetable production will be marketed through our loyal friends at the various stores, restaurants, meal services, and box programs that we've been working with - some for almost 10 years now! These include Life Organic, the Herb & Spice on Bank St., Red Apron, Bridgehead, Zen Kitchen, and Rainbow Natural Foods.
We hope that you continue to support us in whatever way you can, and other local organic farmers, too! Feel free to get in touch by leaving your comments here, on our Facebook page, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time!
P.S. Julie has written more (and more eloquently!) about our market decisions on her blog. Check it out!
Wow - it's hard to believe that it's been four weeks since my last posting! My apologies. It's been a blur of harvesting around here, made even more hectic by the fact that our summer students have returned to school, leaving us a little short-handed on harvest days. Actually, the harvest has now stretched out to include pretty much the whole week - crops like tomatoes and squash don't really lose much in terms of quality and freshness over a day or two, so for the market, we harvest these crops on Thursday and leave the tender crops like lettuce and other greens for Friday morning. They get cut in the cool of the morning (and mornings lately have definitely been cooler!), rinsed, and refrigerated immediately, so they arrive at the market in the best possible condition.
As the title suggests, our market offerings are starting to come full circle now that our fall plantings are ready to harvest. We've got fresh plantings of arugula, mild spring mix, baby lettuce, beta mix, and baby spinach ready to cut - they really enjoy the cooler days and nights of late summer. Peas will be making there return to market this week, too: snow peas are ready this week, with shell and snap peas to follow over the next couple of weeks.
I had the first taste of our last planting of beans today, too, and they are superb. We'll have lots of green, yellow, purple, and dragon tongue beans from now until frost strikes.
Tomatoes, of course, are coming out of the field by the crate full. Our big red and orange beefsteak tomatoes make excellent slicers; the red and yellow paste tomatoes are great in sauces; and there's a motley crew of unusually shaped and coloured heirloom tomatoes guaranteed to provoke conversation as well as your taste buds. Cherry and grape tomatoes are in abundance, too. If you like to preserve tomatoes for winter enjoyment, please contact us about bulk orders - we offer a discount on tomatoes that are beautiful and tasty on the inside, but a little blemished on the outside.
For the more adventurous, check out our sunberries, ground cherries, and tomatilloes.
Zucchini, patipan squash, and cucumbers all start to slow down at this time of year, although with our staggered planting schedule, we've still got a really nice supply of these items: the baby zucchini in particular have been a big hit at the market this year, and once people try our lemon cucumbers, they're usually back for more.
We're just starting to harvest one of the farm's biggest crops: winter squash. The dark green acorn squash and the orange, white, and green striped "Celebration" squash have been the first to ripen. I suspect that I'll find some spaghetti squash in the field tomorrow, and the other half dozen or so varieties will be along shortly.
For all the details, and to avoid missing out on anything, check out our on-line store!
Here's hoping that everyone has had a great summer and that the transition back to school and work has gone smoothly. Hope to see you at the market soon!
The bounty has begun! From now until the first frost, we'll be in full harvest mode here on the farm. We've enjoyed the first ripe tomatoes from the field this week, and we're ready to share them with you at the market starting Saturday. Some of the more interesting heirloom varieties will take another week or two to start ripening, but we'll be harvesting both red and orange tomatoes tomorrow. The first few pints of cherry tomatoes flew off the table last week, but we'll be back with even more this time. We actually grow 11 different varieties of cherry tomatoes and 8 different varieties of grape tomatoes to create a unique blend of colours, shapes, sizes, and textures for each basket. The colours range from bright reds and deep pink to light yellows and dark oranges, even "black" and "white" if the variety descriptions are to be believed! Last week, we brought them to the market in one big bin, and Jasmine and Gabriel took great pride and joy in filling with a rainbow of fruit, one by one into the pint baskets (also a great way to keep the kids busy while we rushed about setting up the rest of the stand!)
Another unique fruit that we're really enjoying this year are "lemon cucumbers". As you can see in photo at the right, they probably gained the name from their size, shape, and colouring. They are a heirloom variety with tender skin, tiny seeds, and a mild-flavoured flesh that is supposed to agree with even those who have difficulty digesting regular cucumbers. Check them out! Of course, we'll also have regular field cucumbers available too!
While we're on the topic of fruit, it's worth noting that we'll be picking the first sunberries of the year for Saturday's market, too. These little dark purple fruit are related to tomatoes but have a flavour similar to huckleberries - a tart, fruity taste that we enjoy in yogurt and mixed berry compotes.
As I noted on our Facebook page last week, the kids ate the few green sweet peppers as soon as we found them in the field last week, but we'll have green and yellow sweet peppers at market, as well as yellow Hungarian hot wax and dark, glossy green jalapeno peppers to spice up your cooking. Our greenhouse is also yielding some gorgeous dark purple, pink, and striped eggplant, too.
Pattypan squash continue to sell like hotcakes, too. One customer reported her horror at running out of them mid-week last week, insisting that they were as addictive as narcotics. Baby zucchini are something else that people just can't seem to get enough of - there's something about the size and tenderness of these little summer squash that gives them a delicate, complex flavour that sets them apart from their larger, more mature siblings.
But if zucchini grilled on the BBQ, stuffed and baked in oven, or grated into muffins, cakes, breads or sauces is your fancy, never fear - we have bins of medium and large zucchini to satisfy your needs!
One brave customer has pledged to consume 10 zucchini per week for the duration of the season. When he checked in last week, he hadn't made it all the way through 10 yet, but he gamely purchased 10 more, in hopes of being able to catch up before this Saturday rolled around. We'll see!
Speaking of yellow and green fruit, we'll be back with both yellow and green beans this week. Plus, we'll have a few purple beans to add to the mix. These are great on veggie trays or as an enticing snack. Or, amaze small children with your magical skills as you turn them from purple to green as they cook!
Moving away from fruit, we continue to offer three kinds of baby kale. Kale, if you haven't heard, is the new arugula, according to some - the Globe & Mail even recently published suggested wine pairings for kale in a recent issue! Of course, we'll continue to offer arugula, too, for those not quite ready to make the switch!
Our head lettuce is one crop appreciating this cooler, wetter weather, although I have to say that I was very impressed with how both our red and green Batavian lettuces stood up to the heat. We've also got some really nice heads of romaine, too. The mesclun is another fan of more moderate weather, and it will make it's return to market soon - tomorrow morning's quality check will determine its presence at the market this week.
Don't forget to check out our on-line store if you don't want to miss out on anything! Julie has posted some mouth-watering photos this week, so you'll have a better idea of what will be waiting for you if you order in advance!
It may seem a little odd to title this post "Changing Seasons." It's the peak of summer, after all, and the midst of a heat wave no less. Yet here on the farm, there is a very real sense of something turning. With the first frost about six weeks away (give or take a week or two), the days growing shorter and the nights cooler (soon we hope!), there are very few crops that could be planted now and expected to mature before a killing frost. And so, with the exception of a couple things we may try to squeeze in over the next couple of days, seeding is done for the year.
Our successes and failures this year will depend on what we make of the crops that are in the ground now (with the notable exception of the cover crops that we'll use to prepare the ground for next year). Although we've been harvesting crops since the first week of May, now is when we really start to literally see the "fruits" of our labour (rahter than just the leaves!). So the focus of our efforts now shifts almost entirely to harvesting, irrigation, weed control, and pest and disease monitoring and control. "Control" being a relative term, of course - there are often things on a farm that are beyond our control.
The weather, for example. Heat (which was largely responsible for the absence of a blog post last week), torrential rains (which has flooded out portions of our crops this year), and sometimes even worse. The thunderstorms that struck the area two weeks ago this coming Sunday had several lasting impacts on the farm. A large white pine tree just up the road from our barn, which often offers shade to our cows, came down across the road just before dark. Our home telephone went dead, and stayed that way for 8 days (making a phone call or checking messages meant driving down to the corner where cell reception is reliable!). And when we went to the field to harvest Tuesday morning, most of the zucchini and cucumbers had a couple jagged round pits in them, about the diameter of a marble. At first, I couldn't fathom what they were - some strange curcubit-munching insect? Peckish birds? Then my mind went back two previous nights to the drumming sound on our roof - hail. The holes in our zukes and cukes were craters left by hailstones. Here's a photo:
Fortunately, it was a bountiful harvest and we were able to find enough unblemished fruit to fill our orders. And we also found a few restaurants and caterers willing to accept some damaged zukes at a "scratch and dent" price. As for the rest - did you know that cows love zucchini? Our cows do, anyway - they'll fight over anything that's too large or too ugly to sell.
The other great thing about zucchini, of course, is that they just keep on growing! By the time we were harvesting for market on Friday, there was a whole new batch of new, pockmark-free fruit ripe for the picking. By now, it's like the storm never happened (for the zucchini and our phone line, anyway, not for the pine tree, or any one of the hundreds of other trees brought down by the storm).
Speaking of zucchini, we'll have a good supply for market again this week. Many people really appreciate our baby zucchini while other prefer the larger ones - for the real fans, we offer a stand full of all shapes and sizes of green and yellow zucchini to choose from: pick one, three, or even ten! Pattypan squash are also very popular. They tend to be sweeter in flavour than zucchini, and who can resist the flying saucer-esque shape of them!
We'll also be bringing lots of field cucumbers of various sizes, and a few more of our greenhouse tomatoes. Cherry and grape tomatoes are starting to ripen now, too -- we'll have to see if we can resist the temptation to keep the first few all to ourselves! Of course, you can't have tomatoes without basil, and we'll be offering small packages or large bags of basil tops at the market again this week.
Our second planting of beans is starting to produce now, too. The green beans are one of my favourite varieties - a slim, dark green bean called Valentino. Yellow, purple, and "dragon tongue" beans are coming soon, too, but they'll probably need another week before they're ready to pick.
On the leafy side, we've got some beautiful heads of green leaf lettuce ready to cut, as well as the ever-popular baby kale and arugula (be warned, though, this hot weather makes the arugula extra spicy!). Pea and sunflower shoots always add a refreshing splash to summer salads and sandwiches, and we're not offering smaller packages for those who like to keep them fresh, or to make it easier to take one of each!
The big question tonight is: will there be raspberries? The crop was showing signs of coming to a close earlier this week, but we're still hoping to be able to find a few half-pints to reward the early birds on Saturday. Check back here, or on our Facebook page, tomorrow for the latest news.
Thanks for reading, and hope to see you at the market!
This week's market selection will look much like last week's, if you managed to make it there before our new items sold out! There will be more of those this week, so don't despair!
Patipan (or pattypan, if you prefer) squash are one of our favourite summer treats. At the baby size, they are tender enough to eat raw, and a light steaming or grilling makes them melt in your mouth.
We'll also have lots of zucchini, both green and yellow, including some at the baby stage as well - another summer staple.
Nothing says summer, though, like the smell of fresh basil and at this time of year, we're only harvesting the tops of the plants, meaning you get lots of leaf with hardly any stem.
Green beans are back again this week, with more bean variety due to arrive in the weeks ahead. This may be the last week until fall, however, for our snow peas, though we'll probably be able to coax another week or two from the shell peas and sugar snap peas.
To fill your salad bowls, we'll be bringing arugula, baby lettuce, "teen" lettuce (these larger leaves are great on sandwiches or in a salad where you're looking for something to stand up to a rich dressing), head lettuce, and to top it off pea shoots and sunflower shoots. Oh, and don't forget the green onions (though you can cook with them, too!)
Baby kale continues to be popular for those who want to use if either raw or cooked - the biggest challenge is deciding between green, red, and black! And for something a little different, check out our summer turnips and kohlrabi.
On the berry front, I'm sad to report that our strawberries are finished for the year. Happily, our raspberry patch continues to surprise us with plump, beautiful berries, so we're hoping to be able to meet demand for these gems this week.
Worried that you may miss out on something? We now have the perfect answer for you! On-line ordering is now available from this very website. Click on the link in the menu to the left, select your items, and we'll have them ready for you at the market on Saturday. Or, if you live up here in the Pontiac, we can make other arrangements. You even have the option to pay using your PayPal account, or by cash or cheque when you receive your order.
Have a great weekend!
It's not very often that the weather catches us off-guard here on the farm, but Wednesday was one of those days. The day started off innocently enough - a mix of sun and cloud, a nice breeze from the west. I was out seeding a fall crop of beans, carrots, peas, and beets, in hopes that the frost will hold off long enough for them to mature. Julie and Ashley, one of our workers, were up in the raspberry patch, filling an order for afternoon delivery. After getting another order for yet more raspberries, I headed over to deliver the good news and more container, just as a few drops of rain began to fall.
Glancing up, I noticed a dark band of clouds moving down the valley to the north and heard the distant rumble of thunder. The skies overhead and to the south and west were still mostly blue, so I assumed that the storm would pass to the north - in the little valley that shelters our farm, we often observe storms passing on the other side of the ridge to the north, or sailing down the Ottawa River to the south, often missing us entirely. Within minutes, however, the rain intensified and any traces of blue sky were swallowed by a wall of gray.
I grabbed a tray of full berry containers and headed toward the tractor and trailer on the other side of the field, where I could put the berries under cover. As the rain came down harder and harder I moved faster and faster, not wanting to see the fragile berries soaked and ruined. It wasn't until I reached the trailer that I remembered all the seed packets spread out and the trays of beans set out to dry after receiving a coating of beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria. At the point, the beans were now practically afloat and the seed packets soaked. I quickly slid the berries under cover, then frantically stuffed the seed packets back into their plastic bin.
At this point, the raspberry plants and the berries on them were too wet to consider picking, so we abandoned that mission, and Julie, who had cleverly protected the remaining full containers with an intricate leaf "roof" headed back across the farm to the house to bring them to safety. Still believing that the storm would pass momentarily, and reassured by the long gaps between lightning flashes and thunder rumbles that told us the storm was safely distant, Ashley went to finish picking green beans and I started cutting zucchini - we were already soaking wet at this point, and the vegetables had to be harvested for delivery, so carrying on seemed like the best option.
Almost an hour later, the rain finally relented, but sections of the field were flooded once again. And what had started as a warm breeze had turned decidedly chilly - I was shivering and covered in goosebumps by the time Julie returned with raincoats - not to keep us dry, but to trap body heat and warm us up!
It was another hour before everything was washed, packed, loaded into the van, and headed to Ottawa with Julie. I treated myself to a hot shower and a late lunch before heading back outside, under blue skies once again, to continue working. Days like this, an office job looks almost attractive. Almost, but not really.
Well, this week was almost, dare I say it, normal. Not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry. And very busy. We've still got some seeding and transplanting left to do, lots of tomatoes and cucumbers to trellis, and the weeds never stop, but we're slowly catching up. Our vegetables are catching up too - at this point, most crops are only about a week behind where they were last year, which is great considering we were three to four weeks later getting started this spring!
But what everybody seems to want to know about recently are berries - strawberries to be precise. As one of the only sources of local organic strawberries in the Ottawa area, we are inundated with requests every year for organic strawberries. A couple of years, we've even managed to pull off a decent crop, but it never comes close to meeting the demand. And in the majority of recent years, well, let's just say disappointment would be an accurate term.
A lot of it comes down to management, frankly. If you look around, many strawberry farms focus exclusively on that one crop, with the possible addition of a few others that ripen at different times of the year. They know that strawberry production is a management-intensive activity, requiring careful timing and close observation. They're smarter than us. We try to grow strawberries along with about 30 other crops, many of which require transplanting, weeding, trellising, or harvesting during strawberry season. There's no doubt that our strawberry crop can never be as large as a result, and our losses to disease and insect pressure are probably greater, too. The advantage, of course, is that all of our "berries" are not in one basket - if they don't work out, chances are some other crop will, and we'll still be able to keep the bills paid!
Strawberries are also very sensitive to the weather. A year ago, we thought we had done everything right: over an acre of berry plants in their third year, lush and healthy, mostly ahead of the weeds, covered by protective row cover. Then came a couple days of windy weather followed by two nights when the temperature dipped to minus 7 for an extended period. Goodbye row cover, hello frost! At that temperature, even the unopened buds underneath the row cover that remained on the plants were frozen. Our prize strawberry field yielded enough berries for a winter's supply of jam, and that was it (although "it" was mighty tasty!). All in all, over the past seven years, we've had profitable crops in less than half of them. To put it more bluntly, to date we've probably lost money trying to grow strawberries.
So why do we persist? Stubborness, mostly. I'm inspired by the history of this land as a strawberry farm, by the handful of other organic farmers across the country who are growing organic strawberries successfully, by the challenge of trying to figure out something that few others manage to do, and by all the people who are so eager to enjoy the pure deliciousness of an organic strawberry. So we keep trying. Our latest attempt is a very small patch of 1000 plants transplanted into biodegradable plastic mulch (to combat the weeds without invoking the horror that is black plastic) on a field sloped to help prevent frost damage. They're making a very small crop of berries this year, but we have high hopes of a larger crop next year, and of learning lessons that will allow us to increase the amount of berries we can produce without "betting the farm."
Raspberries, on the other hand, are a different story. This farm once also featured a hillside field of raspberries that created a waiting list of people wanting to come and pick them. The field was abandoned years before we bought the place, and although a few lonely canes would poke through early winter snows, grass overtook the field. Or so we thought. But in the wake of last year's strawberry disaster, a chance walk across the hillside in early July revealed rejuvenated patches of raspberry canes bearing heavy clusters of ripe fruit. Compared to all the time and money invested in the strawberries, here was a crop we had completely ignored, but it was the one offering us a harvest of fruit. Because the field had not been tended in any way for well over a decade, harvesting was a very labour-intensive process, but Julie braved the wilds to bring some to market for a few weeks. Now it looks like the miracle may repeat itself again this year!
What else can you expect to see at market this week? An excellent question, and one I won't be able to answer until I complete my pre-harvest scouting tomorrow morning. A number of crops are coming on so fast, it's hard to keep up. What I know for sure are sugar snap, snow, and shell peas. Head lettuce, "teen" lettuce, and baby lettuce (mesclun). Old favourites like arugula, mild spring mix, and Beta mix. Lots of the ever-popular baby kale. More green onions and summer turnips. And, as always, pea & sunflowers shoots and wheatgrass.
As for the rest, check back tomorrow afternoon, and I'll post the rest of the list in the comments section. Now it's time for a few hours of pre-harvest sleep!
OK, so I shouldn't have even mentioned it in last week's blog. The start of another rainy cycle that is. Little did I know that Thursday evening's deluge (an inch in less than 30 minutes) would only be the beginning of what has amounted to over 5 inches of rain in the past week! The first few inches soaked into the parched earth relatively quickly, but the last couple resulted in some flooding that has definitely had an impact on some plants in some areas of the field. It has also delayed planting our fall crops, but it was nice to have some time inside to clear the desk and the in-box!
Despite the saturated soils, we're still counting ourselves lucky. Farmers to the east of us received almost 12 inches, and the highway into Ottawa is now broken by two washouts, adding about 30 minutes to the drive into town. Things could be much worse, and actually, to tell the truth, they're starting to look better every day.
This is the beginning of "blossom season" on the farm -- it seems like every day, new rows of plants are coming into blossom -- last week we enjoyed the delicate whites of the peas; now we're seeing the little bells of bean blossoms hanging heavy and the first hints of the brash orange-yellows of the summer squash. Several varieties of tomatoes are sporting their star-like yellow blossoms, and the cucumbers are getting in on the act, too, with melons not far behind.
What it means for our faithful customers, of course, is a greater variety of vegetables arriving at the markets and at our retail outlets each week. (We started our mid-week deliveries on Wednesday with a trip to the Herb & Spice on Bank St., and Life Organic - watch our Facebook page or Twitter feed for updates.) Here's the rundown of what we'll be bringing to the Main Market this week:
Strawberries - yes, our plants have finally started producing! Supply will be extremely limited this week, but hopefully we'll have a few more next week - because it is the plants' first year, it will be a small crop.
Peas - all three types this week - snow, snap, and shell - and more of them.
Baby kale - red, green, or "dinosaur" - this remains one of our most popular items.
Arugula - a customer commented last week that we had the nicest arugula on the market -- always nice to hear things like that!
Mild Mesclun - a tasty salad mix with not too much heat
Baby Lettuce - a crop that appreciates cooler, wetter weather!
Leaf Lettuce - we'll have a couple different varieties of full-size heads available
Hakurei Turnips - sweet, mild summer turnips that have been much-anticipated
Kohlrabi - mixed bunches of purple and white - probably the last of these for a while
Garlic Scapes - real garlic flavour, and no cloves to peel!
Green Onions - another new item this week
Shoots, pea & sunflower - we had a couple of requests last week to buy them by the tray - let us know if you're interested in this option, too!
Wheat grass - a confession here - I had them packed and ready to go last week, then drove off without them. Our pigs and chickens enjoyed them, however, and there's a fresh batch ready to package up on Saturday again -- and I rarely forget the same thing twice!
There may be a couple of other things I'm forgetting to mention here -- we'll have to see what the next 30 hours brings! I'll be heading out at sunrise tomorrow to gather greens before the heat strikes, and hopefully to wrap up harvest and packing early enough to leave some time to celebrate with family and friends. Happy Canada Day to you, and enjoy the long weekend!