This has been the summer of babies at TapRoot and Noggins Corner! Here are our three newest farm team members -- Gilbert (with Justine from TapRoot), Kate (with Carolyn from Noggins), and Elsie (with Jillian from Noggins). Also, Carolyn's daughters Emma and Mary in front. :)
The seasons are officially changing as August 25th, 2014 marks the first day that our annual corn maze is open to the public! As many of you know, we plant an 8 1/2 acre corn field at our Greenwich location specifically for people to come with their families and friends to get lost in! Everyone always has fun and fortunately, we've yet to lose anyone forever! The paths of the corn maze make up an entire image that is different every year. We won't spoil this year's surprise, you'll have to come see for yourself. Bring a picnic, bring your dog and come have a healthy and active day on the farm to help celebrate the 2014 harvest season!
New to the add on shelf this morning: A kitty! Actually, this kitty (Samson Salad Mix) has been commuting with me to work since last Sunday when Jon and I found him in the salad patch. He was very sick when we found him, but has now had worm and flea treatment and is on antibiotics as well for a nasty respiratory infection. He's doing much better now and is actually a bit of a troublemaker, like all kittens should be!
He is about 4 months old, and though we are already in love with him, Jon and I are not allowed to have cats at the house we rent and so for now he is planned to be an office kitty. There are a lot of mice in the CSA office, so he will have an important job on the farm. The newest addition to the TapRoot Team!
I am also open to the idea of someone adopting him to a loving home-- He is adorable and very very friendly, and loves being around people. However as he was a stray, he comes with a list of ailments and likely also has feline leukemia, so the vet said he may have a short life. It will be a good one-- as, if Teri Jenkins has one weakness in life (I have a lot more than one!), it's orange kitties!
For now, he's content curled up on the shelf next to the Camelina and Canola Oil. :) :)
Burton Howell has worked at the farm 6 weeks. When I found him working with Brodie amongst a tall stand of weeds, he was unearthing some weedy green onions.
When I asked Burton what he does at the farm in his own words, he quipped: “Suffer!" Then added: "Don't put that!... We do a lot of weeding and basically manual labour". He says he enjoys it, and gets to talk with Brodie and have his hands bleed (!). He mentioned that farming is the farthest thing from what he is going to do. Burton enjoys computers and is heading to Brock University in St. Catherine's Ontario soon for Computer Science. He came to the farm this year because his Dad has strong ties with the Bishops and thought it would be a good character building experience-- Burton likened it to Calvin and Hobbes, with Calvin's dad taking him on terrible camping trips for the same purpose!
Though a self-proclaimed "computer guy" Burton most definitely has a farmer's understanding of good food. When I asked what his favourite veggie to eat was, he said: “Carrots right out of the ground”, and further explained that he and Brodie did that here at the farm and it was great- He said: "sometimes it happens that they get “accidentally” pulled out when they are out weeding and get hungry". In true farmer resourcefulness, they washed the carrots in rainwater which collects on the sides of the tunnel, and ate and thoroughly enjoyed them right then and there.
I know we have all appreciated Burton's weeding efforts on the farm this year and we will miss him when he heads off to University. It takes all kinds to get the job done, computer people too!
I always make sure that staff understand what this project is all about before interviewing and taking photos. Today I was having bad luck getting anyone's permission, but I knew I could always count on my husband Jon! He thought I was neglecting him in this project so far, but really, he was the ace up my sleeve for a moment like this where I had a time crunch and needed more interviews!
When I talked to Jon, he was heading out to the field where I interviewed Burton with the manure spreader to spread nutri-wave, a chicken manure product that we use on the organic fields on the farm. I set my computer up on the wheel of the tractor and spent a few minutes chatting farming with Jon. He has worked here a year and a half and helps lead production, focusing on weed management. Jon says his favourite thing about farming is all the variety and working outside – he says he gets to do a whole bunch of different things every day. His favourite crop to grow tomatoes, and he notes: “I like how much time you can spend with each individual plant, taking care of a smaller number of plants each year so they produce well.” Jon's favourite tomato variety is Big Beef.
Jon loves to eat Turnip. Growing up in PEI he remembers eating a lot of it. He doesn't specifically remember if his Dad grew it in the large family garden, but says it reminds him of childhood.
Jon is looking forward to shoots and sprout production in the winter. This summer he really enjoyed the fertigation (fertilizing through the drip irrigation) plan for the crops tunnels. He says this kind of work is a bit more technical- we use different mixtures for different purposes. Jon moved to Nova Scotia in February 2012. He says he love how much people here appreciate the province and everyone loves it here. Outside of farming Jon like playing music and DJing, fishing, and making beer. (And, might I add spending time with his lovely wife in their salad patch -- More about that here: http://grownbyjonandteri.com)