Summer Early Bird Special & Recharging the Battery

While the weather outside is frightful, the flavours are simply delightful!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, so this one will cover a few topics:

1. Early Bird Special for Summer CSA now available – but only for a limited time!

2. Why Ecological & Organic Farming Conferences Rock

3. What is a four-season market gardener doing this time of the year anyway?

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Black Tuscan Kale – photo: Tjalling Halbertsma

1. Early Bird Special for 2017 Summer CSA

Available Until Dec 21!

As a way to say thank you to the wonderful people who pledge their commitment and support for me to grow the best vegetables I can for them I’m offering an early bird special until Dec 21st.  Sign up this week to make the most on your investment in fresh, flavourful and organic vegetables direct from the gardens.  For more information please visit the CSA Details Page.  The perfect gift for your family or investment in your own well being, take advantage of the early bird savings and reserve your spot asap!

2. Why Farming Conferences Rock…

You need to keep the skill-set sharp!  No matter what you do, if you aren’t learning, refining your skills, networking with peers in your field (figuratively or literally in your field) you run the risk of getting dull.  On the farm we use alot of hand tools, most notably harvest knifes, an assortment of hand-hoes, the scythe and wheel hoes.  All of these have blades which need constant attention – for the little time it takes to stop and sharpen, it will save plenty of energy through ease of operation compared to trying to drag a dull hoe through the soil or a dull blade through plant tissue.

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Keep your blades sharp!

 

For new farmers in Ontario, there are two conferences I would highly recommend for sharpening your skills: The Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference (which happened just a few weeks ago) and the Guelph Organic Conference (which is typically the end of January).

They both offer great opportunities for networking, learning about new seed varieties, tools, greenhouse supplies, etc, and both have a real “family reunion” feel to them.  All in all – super inspiring!

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Part of the 2016 Dream Team, after an especially dismal crop walk where we discovered most of our early planted beets had failed in the intense heat – luckily the fall crop made up for any perceived shortages early in the season! – photo: Tjalling Halbertsma

While I am often feverishly taking notes at workshops, in all truth, I’m happy if I come home with one good idea and the opportunity to talk shop with friends, mentors and peers – folks who rarely see each other during the growing season because we’re all pouring ourselves into what we love.

3. So what’s a four-season market gardener doing this time of the year anyway?

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A warm blanket to keep Kale & Chard safe from the howling winds and frigid temperatures outside this caterpillar tunnel

December marks the beginning of  a different pace here at the farm, although truth be told, I am just finishing up the fall tasks of washing the last of the roots, preparing the  greens under cover of greenhouse for winter, and continuing to harvest and pack veggies for  Winter CSA deliveries.  As these tasks leave the to do list, a whole new set appear, which mostly necessitate the use of two important tools, a pencil and a calculator (OK, three if you include the pencil sharpener).

Although there are still orders to pack, harvests to execute, animals to tend to and firewood to move, I get to spend a bit more time close to the wood stove planning for spring.

As we move towards deep winter, stay warm, light and have fun!

Mike

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Another dream Team shot as we prepare to move one of the greenhouses over winter spinach a few months ago – always an exciting venture! – photo: Kristen Yeung

2 thoughts on “Summer Early Bird Special & Recharging the Battery

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