Note from Noggins - 26 July

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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.
--Info & photos supplied by Andrew and Dorothy

TapRoot Meat Share Week 9

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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

                                                                                       Total:   $35.50


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



Cherry Orchard or Jungle Safari?

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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.




Faces of the Farm: Meet Gerald!

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Coming back from dropping off water samples in Kentville today, I knew where I'd find Gerald-- In the onion patch!  Sure enough, he was out weeding, and when I mentioned how good the section he had already weeded looked, he pointed to the section he was working on that is particularly weedy, and proclaimed "Oh my geez!".  The onions are grown through black plastic mulch, but the pathways and the holes still require weeding efforts.  Gerald has gone through the entire field once and is now working on the second round.  He says that onions are his favourite crop to grow on the farm, and he likes planting and growing them, but not weeding them!  I asked why he likes growing onions and his honest answer was "I don't really know!  I've been doing it so long, it's just what I do."

I asked Gerald if he had any nicknames, and he said when he used to work in Alberta there were too many Geralds, so they called him Jerry.  That was back 10 years ago, before he started working at TapRoot.  He told me the story about how he and his wife Louise came to work at the farm.  9 years ago, Gerald was over at his father's house and the phone rang.  It was Josh, looking for Calvin to come back to work at the farm.  Gerald asked if he could take a message, and the rest is history!  Gerald joined the farm team that July, and Louise joined him in August.

Give Gerald a field ripe beefsteak tomato in August with some salt, and he's happy: It's his favourite crop to eat.  When back home in Grand Bank, Newfoundland, Gerald also likes to go out in the country on his ATV in the winter and go ice-fishing, and he mentioned that he and Louise are going to fit in some camping when they return this October. 

Thanks to Gerald for showing me the onion patch this morning and telling me more about himself!


Faces of the Farm: Meet Jem!

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Jem spends Tuesday mornings at Canard loading the shares for the city deliveries.  I caught up with him cleaning out the van and getting ready to drive over and pick up the fruit shares from Noggins Corner. 

Jem's real name is John, but as we already have a Jon on the farm, and it's such a fitting nickname (he's a true gem!), we couldn't imagine Jem by any other name!  Jem has worked at the farm for just over 4 years, and has only lived in Canada for about 4 and a half years.  He moved here with his new wife Karen who came from Port Williams to work in Ireland for a year, and they met and fell in love.  He is originally from Holywood County Down, Northern Ireland-- and mentioned that he played on the same golf course as Rory McIlroy.  At the farm, Jem helps to prepare share boxes, loads the van, and delivers to the city one day per week.  He says his favourite part of the job is doing deliveries, especially when there's a chance to chat with members.

Jem has had a pretty easy adjustment to living in Canada, though he says he's had to replace a few European vegetable names with the Canadian version.  Courgettes and Aubergines, to name a couple (Zucchini and Eggplant).  He mentioned his favourite crop that we grow is basil, and we chuckled over our different pronunciations-- My hard Manitoba "A" says "BAY-SIL", but Jem says the also popular and correct "BAA-SIL".

Jem and his wife Karen love to travel, and are just about to jet off for a three-week trip to Ireland, France, and Germany to visit friends and family.  When around home, Jem says he is so glad to live near Wolfville where there is loads of live music and entertainment, places to dine, and good films.  He also loves living near a tidal river.  When he first arrived he thought the sights around Karen's home were crazy, and would often sit on the dyke watching the tides come in and out.  Jem also likes to work outside in the garden, where he has a good view of the Cornwallis River.

We are glad to have Jem to regale our farm team with stories from the sixties and Ireland, and all the places he's traveled, with a calm demeanor and a hearty chuckle!