Did you know that 2014 is the International Year of the Family Farm? April 25th, 26th and 27th will find us celebrating our farming heritage at the annual Saltscapes Magazine Expo. As many of you know, our beloved Patricia is Andrew Bishop's eldest daughter from Noggins Corner Farm. With her and Josh behind the helm of TapRoot, the connection between the two farms runs deep in many ways.
And now we need your help!
We need a tag line or slogan that represents the family and farming connection between TapRoot and Noggins. We will use it at our shared booth at Saltscapes and perhaps beyond! Think of something catchy and concise that showcases the pride that we all have in being from the land that nourishes the great food we eat.
Please post your ideas on our facebook page-- Thanks for your creativity and see you at the Expo!
Nancy told me about her fridge organization system in their household a while back, and has shared her blog post about it here.
I think this is a great tip for those of you who may be struggling to make use of all the produce in your fridge before it goes bad... We all know that sometimes when things go in, they get lost and often not come out again until they are past their prime. :)
This list could be created in order of what needs to be eaten first, to further help your family. I know in our house, fridge management is an art form!
My Mom and Aunty Jayne visited this past week from Manitoba. They are here to help with some wedding planning (3 months away!), and to see where Jon and I work and live, as well as exploring the beautiful valley and province of NS.
On Friday, we had a tour of TapRoot Farms, complete with us making shares with Tim for Saturday- To the right is a photo of my Mom and I. We had lunch at the farm and some labels I had ordered arrived, so we labelled dozenss of jars of nettle jelly, nettle thyme jelly, and nettle mint jelly. (These are now available in add ons, under "Dry Goods", if you'd like to order some!). We helped Jon with animal chores by collecting eggs, and made a delivery to Noggins, where Erlene explained how the apple washing and packing line works. My Mom has her own market garden in Manitoba (Brown Sugar Produce), so all of this was very interesting for her. Aunty Jayne is also an avid gardener, and used to work in my Aunty Nancy's greenhouse, so you can see where my green thumb originated!
Of course we also did the regular NS tourist activities.... Visited The Look Off, the Wolfville Farmer's Market, farm stands in the Gaspereau Valley, as well as checking out the wedding venue, and later today, the dress which is undergoing alterations. They attended the TapRoot birthday party on Friday and met all the lovely folks I work with. And, of course, we had lobster (Jon's fav- look at that grin!).
It was a great trip, I was so glad to see them, and it was lovely to have a little bit of time off! Thanks for visiting, Mom and Aunty Jayne!
The response from last year’s Flower Share was overwhelmingly positive! It was a learning year for us in terms of time dedication, quantity, variety, quality, and transport. People told us the shares lasted well in vases, or they really came in handy for expected or unexpected occasions. There were also lots of fun conversations about the flowers themselves. The flower gardens became popular spots while visitors were exploring the farm.
Last year we grew flowers for about 35 weekly flower shares, sold a few additional add-ons each week, did mini bouquets for all CSA members, and helped out with four weddings. Seeding started in February and March to establish early annuals. We leaned heavily on existing perennials, biennials, woody ornamentals, and herbs, but the bulk of the flowers were grown from seed. The flowers were harvested the morning of the deliveries or in some cases the evening before. They were cooled and conditioned before being sent off in the delivery van.
Plans are afoot for the coming year. This year’s Flower Share will run for 20 non-consecutive weeks. Things will likely begin with tulips and spring bouquets, hopefully to mark Mother’s Day. After a minor gap, they will arrive with regularity at your CSA pick-up location.
Flower Shares are my favourite thing about my job, albeit a small part. It has always been my goal that growing flowers on the farm be able to justify the time and effort it takes. Your vegetables, meat, eggs and fruit are always the top priority for everyone at Taproot. And, while flowers play critical roles in maintaining biodiversity at the farm, they will not stock your freezer, or be your family meal at the end of the day. Flowers are for other reasons.
Thank you to everyone who has signed up for this year’s Flower Share! We anticipate a great season. And if there are any other CSA members with a reason of your own, there are still shares available.