I finally rented Walden Camp and stayed for a night at Taproot Farms. I say “finally” because part of my job is to promote the farm stay, and assist guests who come. I was recommending an experience without having done it myself. Shame on me.
On a recent Saturday afternoon (the night we had the Supermoon), Jason and I packed up the dog and a few personal effects. The idea was to book the camp and show up as if we were new guests. But the truth is I have a real affection for the Walden Camp, and everything else on the farm. I have also known farm owners, Josh and Trish for years, so my biases, and the likelihood I would enjoy myself were pretty apparent.
After a quick visit to the driveway market for veggies (and a peanut butter gelato from Fox Hill next door) we arrived at the camp. Jason pointed out a problem. “How do people find it when they get to the farm?” Hmm. Good question. Walden Camp is very private, not all that far, just secret. Future guests can now grab a property map at the driveway market and use it to find just about anything.
Our high maintenance beagle was over the moon. He and the farm’s Jack Russell Terrier, Jack, immediately went for a swim in the large pond. We unpacked, but hadn’t brought much stuff. The camp is equipped with a fire pit, gas stove, indoor woodstove, firewood, drinking water, soap, dishes, pots, etc. Not to mention the bed, a bit of furniture and comfy chairs. We tossed our toiletry bag and bedding on a chair, set the cooler on the picnic table and rounded up our dog.
We spent the evening walking the trails and visiting the pigs, chickens and geese. We ambled through the cut flower gardens, the blueberry orchard and row upon row of too many vegetables to name. Then we cooked a meal of food entirely from the farm we were visiting. We even happened upon Josh and Trish, with kids in tow, spending their Saturday night weeding green onions. How romantic!
Jason and Scooter enjoyed everything about the stay on the farm. And, predictably, so did I. We were so tired by the end of the night we never did manage to play that game of Yahtzee.
Now that I have experienced Walden Camp, I can recommend it. It’s a perfect spot for a couple, or a small family if a tent were pitched. Guests have access to the farm and are treated like royalty by staff. The team at Taproot enjoy having people around, but at the same time you have absolute privacy. It’s kind of like having a campground to yourself. Sounds of nature everywhere, and at times a chorus of frogs so loud you think they’re coming for you!
For more info about Walden Camp, check it out under the Farm Stay tab on our website. www.taprootfarms.ca
Raspberries are starting to recover from Hurricane Arthur. It isn't going to be the best year for Raspberries but they are starting to come along and have nice colour.
We are just coming out of the last few days of peach thinning. We have to create enough space between all the peaches so that can size up to a really good size. They try to give each peach enough space about the size of a fist all around it.
Sweet cherries are in full swing and absolutely gorgeous.... So juicy and delicious.
As soon as we are done with thinning peaches we are going to start thinning apples. The apples did get banged around a bit in the hurricane so hopefully they will be alright but we won't know until they grow larger.
The hurricane was pretty detrimental to the farm we are still in the process of cleaning up limbs and broken trees. We are going to have to put extra support systems around the pear trees, give them posts to aid growing. Thing are busy on the farm with hurricane clean up and getting the orchards ready. Peaches and plums are just around the corner for us. We need to get all the apples thinned before we can start picking plums and peaches because once we start picking in the orchard it won't stop until well into the fall.
Welcome to the ninth week of the 2014/2015 TapRoot meat share!
This week your share contains:
1 Whole Chicken from TapRoot Farms
1lb Traditional English Style Pork Sausage from Salmontail River Farm
1 Ham or Pork Shoulder Steak from TapRoot Farms
1 Pack No-Nitrate Bacon from TapRoot Farms
Cost breakdown of your share:
1 Whole Chicken @ $4.50/lb, average 3lbs $13.50
1lb Traditional English Style Pork Sausage @ $8.00/lb $8.00
1 Ham or Pork Shoulder Steak @ $5.00/lb, average 1.3lbs $6.50
1lb No-Nitrate Bacon @ $7.50/lb $7.50
We picked up some of our freshly cut pork last week so you'll be enjoying some of it in this week's share. Each share includes one ham or pork shoulder steak and a pack of our no-nitrate bacon. The shares also include a pound of Traditional English Style pork sausage made by our friend Helen at Salmontail River Farm. Made with TapRoot ground pork, these homemade sausages also include water, wheat rusk, salt, pepper, sage and spices. And last but not least, your share this week will include another one of our own whole chickens. We hope you enjoy everything and if you have any favorite recipes you like to use with our meat, please send them to us so that we can share them with all of our members!
And, as I'm actually away on vacation during your meat share week, I have no up-to-date animal news to share with you, but I'll be sure to include lots of photos and stories of our animals in the next meat blog.
I hope you have a great week!
As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about your meat share, feel free to email us at Justine@taprootfarms.ca.
This past Sunday Josh and I met up with members at the Squash Barn before a short walk to the cherry orchard. Along the way we admired the tomatoes under the hoop houses, failed to spot any pigs hiding in the shade, waved to neighbours, and noted that the tide was out.
Josh continued the tour at the orchard with a bit of a safety lesson. I was surprised to discover that the cherry orchard was more of a fortification. Low level electric fences, live capture traps, simulated owl and crow screeching, and my favourite, the cannon! I felt like we were entering a game preserve. Some of the younger children were a bit reluctant. Josh explained that he is basically trying everything he can (including some Nova Scotian innovations) to keep critters out. He said, "Everything wants to eat cherries." I understand why.
The orchard has a bunch of varieties. I walked the entire length of rows reading all the signs, but can't recall a single variety. I was distracted by the canopy. Branches drooping with huge bunches and clusters. And incredibly shaded. It would have felt like a scene from a pastoral art film if it weren't for the screeching monkeys and bird deterring fireworks.
After some chit chat we all got down to business, filling pints to take home. I filled three pints standing in one place, from one branch, and I didn't even lift my arm above my shoulder. I believe that's what's called, "Good pickin'" on the farm.
The cherry orchard tour and u-pick was the highlight of my week. We always hope people can find a chance to visit the farm, to see, participate, and get a feel for the place. Thanks to those of you for coming this past Sunday, and to all CSA members who continue to support the farm. If you haven't made it to the farm yet, we will create an excuse to get you here. See you all soon. Maybe at next month's corn boil, or Open Farm Day in September.