Good Morning and Happy Wednesday!
(I am sending to current members and to those starting July 2nd. Just a few weeks away until you begin collecting your shares from the farm. I will include you now in the newsletters)
This week has been filled with opportunities to get caught up with seeding and weeding, that means early mornings and later days to make the best of the great weather.
Yesterday two little lambs arrived. We had two Icelantic sheep and now we have five. There is another one to lamb soon. It is always a treat to have babies around. These sheep are here for their wool. We are using it as part of our efforts to grow clothes on the farm. We hope that one day you will be able to get your vegetables, fruit and clothing all from the farm. 100% local, transparent, ethical and regenerative.
We are concerned for the squash right now. There are seed maggots attacking them. We are hopeful that the seeds will out grow the pressure. Right now it looks like every second seed at least is damaged so we will see how they come up and if there is too much of a loss then we may have to disc them in and consider reseeding. This happens because we use manure as our fertility in the fields which naturally has an increased amount of bug activity (a good thing) AND because right after we planted them we had all that cold and wet weather last week which isn't ideal at all for squash. If they sit too long without the right growing conditions they are more sensitive then some other crops for failure.
Today is our organic certification inspection. It will take about 5 hours to complete. The hardest part for us is the mass balance exercise. For the mass balance the inspector will select a vegetable like carrots. They will want to see our harvest records for carrots and ideally it would be in weight but it isn't because we don't have a bin scale, so it is listed by the bin or by the tub on the harvest list. At this point we make a guess how many lbs or kg's are in a bin of particular crops. Then we show all of the invoices for the vegetables and provide the shrinkage report (all that was thrown into compost). All of that must come within 3-5% of the total harvested. The inspector will also want to see invoices for the seeds and planting records to ensure that how many we harvested and sold matches with what we grew. If we sold way more than we harvested, obviously that is an issue. OR if we harvest way more than we grew that is also a problem. Our tracking and reporting systems are good, we just could use a few tools like a bin scale to help improve the accuracy. Niki who is our On Farm Food Safety CanadaGap consultant is going to join in on the organic inspection for her interest in the process. In the coming weeks we will also have the CanadaGAP audit. TapRoot has an accreddited CanadaGAP program and organic program. Two important certificates that verify our practices.
OKAY and finally......
Yesterday I randomly opened my little book How To Love by Thich Nhat Hanh to page 36. When I read Three Strong Roots I thought of TapRoot (the farm) and our relationship with you. I decided I wanted to include it here and pray for forgiveness for posting without permission.
Three Strong Roots
To keep our commitments to our partner, and to weather the most difficult storms, we need strong roots. If we wait until there is trouble with our partner to try and solve it, we won't have built strong enough roots to withstand the assault. Often we think we're balanced when, in reality, that balance is fragile. We only need a slight breeze to blow for us to fall down. A juniper tree has its roots planted deep in the heart of the earth. As a result it is solid and strong. But some trees that appear to be quite steady need only one raging storm to know them down. Resilient trees can weather a violent storm because their roots are deep and firm. The roots of a lasting relationship are mindfulness, deep listening and loving speech, and a strong community to support you.
We have some work to do. The balance is fragile, but we do have a few deeply rooted trees. Thank you community for your support.
This week you have early purple top turnip in the shares. Please don't let those turnip greens go to waste. Steam them up or chop and add to soup, pasta sauce, smoothies, just be sure to eat the whole plant - it is all good:))