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!
It was only fitting that I snap a photo of Meagan driving by in the TapRoot Van (safely stopped, of course, out the office window!). Meagan does the majority of the CSA deliveries at the farm.
Meagan has worked at TapRoot Farms since May. She helps with making shares, cleaning and organizing the ever-impending mess in our warehouse, and of course delivers most of the shares, meets members, and chats with them about vegetables-- which she notes is her favourite part of the job! I asked Meagan what brought her to TapRoot and she said "I was a member for a year and when I first heard about the farm I wished I could work there. So, of course when I saw a job opening I went for it!"
Meagan loves to eat vegetables, as well as talk about them with members! Her favourites are Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Asparagus-- a green, healthy veggie for every season! She also enjoys camping and being in the outdoors, biking, fishing, and solitude. Meagan was born in Victoria, BC but has lived in Nova Scotia since she was 2-- Her father is in the military and was posted here after being on ships out west.
When I asked Meagan what some of the things she has liked seeing at the farm so far she replied, "I thought it was really cool to see how the shares are made-- it goes so fast, we make hundreds of boxes and it always seems to happen quickly." Meagan mentioned that she is still overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of fields we have at the farm: "I don't even think I have a handle on how many and where all of them are!" When asked what she doesn't like, she said: "I don't like having to throw out excess veggies, and when members don't pick up their boxes. It seems like such a waste."
Meagan is the reason your shares make it safely to you, most days of the week. Thanks for sharing more about yourself, Meagan!
I was lucky to snag an interview with the elusive Josh Oulton this morning. Josh has not been around as much lately because he's been laid up with a serious infection in his knee. Today he was checking out something on Gerald's tractor when I caught up with him.
Josh has worked here since the farm's conception in 2004. He was born in St. John's Nfld but grew up in Nova Scotia.
I asked him what he does on the farm in his own words, and he said: "I am the coordinator of activities." Some of the things Josh really likes about farming are the seasons, planting crops and watching them grow, harvesting, seeing the farm's crops coming out of the fields in bins and going out and into storage, and the people he works with. Josh's favourite crop is Onions-- to grow and to eat. Why? "They're good."
Josh noted that he is excited most about the animal part of what's going on now at the farm-- He finds them entertaining and a great addition to the things that we do. It is exciting to see some of the plans and dreams coming to fruition now, like the GMO-free feed we are working on and the pastured pork. I asked if there was anything he didn't like, and he didn't even have to stop and think to reply: "Weeds. Who likes the weeds? If we could farm without weeds we'd have nothing to do. They are a nuisance."
Outside of farming, Josh plays hockey, skis, and enjoys spending time with his 3 kids and wife Patricia.
I also asked Josh for a health update, as that is the hot topic on the farm these days. He is feeling hopeful that he will be better soon. He can now bear weight on his leg and think clearly, and is starting to help a little bit whenever Trish asks-- He adds, "I kinda like it, I just show up at the farm and she tells me what needs to be done." A change for Josh from being the regular coordinator of activities.
On a final note, Josh supplied: "This year has been full of adversity and we are getting through it. It's been especially hard for me with the recent hospital stay and health issues, but also hurricanes and babies and marriages have played a part in making this a harder year than most. We will come through it!