Though we're all sore and tired, (and especially tired of saying "Pea shoots. PEA shoots. PEA SHOOTS!!), we can all agree that Saltscapes Expo was a success, and a great time was had by all of the TapRoot team who attended!
Patricia had a banner made to explain why we were at Saltscapes that I really liked. I thought it tied into the transparency that I see always from both Josh and Patricia: they are always aware of being as open and transparent as possible when it comes to decisions at the farm. So, it follows that we were transparent about why we were at Saltscapes. Here it is:
TapRoot invested in coming to Saltscapes 2013 because we hope to:
- Share, inform, and encourage support for local agriculture
- Inform people about how the CSA concept can help keep our food production local and sustainable
- Get more bookings for our Farm Stay at TapRoot
- Sell our staple share option (our goal this year was 50)
- Have fun meeting new people
So, we're still looking for homes for some staple shares, and will look forward to lots of bookings coming in for Swallow's Nest and Walden Camp, but other than that we definitely achieved our goals! We talked to lots of people excited about CSA, but even more who didn't know what it was, and those are the ones who we're really glad to have met! If nothing else, we increased the market for pea shoots by about 10,000 people! I think there was only one lady all day who didn't love them, and she said "for a vegetable, it's pretty good. But it's still a vegetable!" To each her own, I guess.
On the farm we have a small little shed that has been unloved for the ten years we've had the farm in Canard.
I would like to give this shed some long over due love.
Here is the rough idea: we create a water stop for bikers and walkers or anyone needing a drink of water. We fix up the shed to be a fresh market stand on weekends with a freshly cooked food component - all cooked from our farm produce (like Slow Food take aways:)). We put composting toilets in and a hand washing area. And on top of that we have the history of Canard in pictorial and text inside and outside the shed.
My vision for this is that the business model would cover all the costs and that all of the profit would go to charitable iniatives that we support: Annapolis Valley Farm Land Trust, Farmers Helping Farmers, Slow Food, Ecology Action Centre, ACORN, and others in our region.
So, what do you think?
First we need a vision for the look (and possibly some permits and permisson). Here is where I am stumped. I thought I would send these pictures out to you. If you have an eye for these sorts of things (or a degree in it:)), send back your graphic of what it could look like (not a lot of work, just a sketch that you see, a starting vision).
We will create a team to choose a design vision we like best and then we will acknowledge the 'winning' design with all of your information on the shed when it is finished.....like speading the word. (Something like: this TapRoot (stop/shed/market/???) design was inspired by: x ) Sound fun?? If so, spread the word.
I'd love to know your thoughts.
(and yes, in truth I am tring to find a fun and creative way that doesn't cost money to get ideas......no insults intended)
...Would make TapRoot a very dull place, indeed! Good thing we have lots of things around to inspire us to be silly!
<--Tim shows off a ridiculously large carrot that we found in the rainbow carrots from Swetnam Farms... Seriously, the thing was a club (I say "was" because Josh ate it). We considered entering it in a giant vegetable contest, and then figured that if they send it to us, they probably have EVEN BIGGER carrots in their arsenal. Wow. That's a big carrot!
Justine, with the same carrot, which made the rounds at the farm.--->
(I hope Josh washed it before he ate it!!)
Here's Justine again, with a ridiculously large squash. It was funnier at the time, because it took a while to snap the photo, and her arm was getting tired from hold it. Notice it is twice the size of her head! We were loading the van for the Kingston drop, and this guy spilled out of a box.
I tried to snap a photo Tim and Jon bagging spinach this morning. Tim gave his nicest, best smile, and Jon was less cooperative (notice how Tim looks exactly the same in both photos... And Jon does not!)
Finally... Invariably, if you enter the office after 10 am, you're bound to hear stomachs growling. Falicia is sweet and always offers to share her morning snack (or maybe she feels sorry for me, tummy grumbling so loud beside her!). Anyhow, she had some carrot chips today, and in the middle of eating them, held one up and said: "Look how beautiful this carrot is!!". So, we had to take a picture. It IS beautiful. Or, maybe we are just nerds.
I hope you are nerds, too, and that you will send me your funny photos... Kids holding big squash or turnips, heart-shaped potatoes, carrots intertwined, et cetera. We'll make sure to send along some of our favourites in your boxes, so that you can play the game, too. We'll call it "You Don't See this in the Grocery Store", and we can giggle over our delicious, nutritious, and occasionally-imperfect fresh farm goodies together!
Some notes about receiving your meat share. It will be in a cooler with a number on the side. If you are at a self serve location there will be a number on the list beside your name like #3, or #1. That indicates which cooler your meat share is in. You would then go to that cooler and look through the shares for the one with your name on it. Otherwise the volunteer or Taproot staff member will let you know which cooler to look in. You're frozen add on's will also be in a cooler with the same procedure. Number by your name indicating which cooler to look in.
This week quite a bit of our meat share is coming from Jeff at Longspell Farms in Kingsport. We've been working with Jeff for a few years now and we've been getting most of our whole beef from him (the first time he brought one over I said 'oh your got the cow' and thus I got a lesson in the difference between cow and beef, simply put beef is what we eat, it grazes and is kept for meat purpose. Cows are mature female cattle, kept for dairy or breeding. A cow would be very tough because of it's age.) He brings the beef it over in many boxes, we fill up a few freezers and that gets us through with steaks, roasts, ground, and ribs for a few months. A few weeks ago he called to tell me he was going to make breakfast sausage and did I want him to make enough for our CSA. I said yes, and so that's one of the items this week. It's great for us to have the high quality meat, and great for Jeff and other farmers who we can support with our meat share.
We are growing a lot of the poultry this year. Josh has a license for 1000 free range meat birds and he'll be growing 450 ducks. The first meat birds arrive today, and we'll be sure to post pictures of the cute fluffy little things.