Week 34 at TapRoot
This week was an adventure for Josh, me and the kids. We headed over to PEI on Sunday evening to attend the ACORN (atlantic canada organic regional network) meetings. We attended 12 seminars each - took many notes, talk through challenges and opportunities and generally connected and awakened our idea bank.
Take homes for me included: chicken harvest events, rent the chicken (renting two hens and a mini coop for a season), planting a nut tree guild, start saving some seeds at TapRoot to participate more fully in local diversity and to step away from being captive to the marketplace, start growing some grains to test, attend common ground fair, we can grow rice, learn more about the organic seed alliance, learn the latin names of the crops we grow, runner beans make good physical barriers between crops, contemplating grafting in vegetables - would like to experiment with this, step up the story telling and sharing and invitation to know the farm, plant more trees via on farm propagation, continue to create intentional habitats for pollinators, question - are we going to offer flower csa next year?, continue planning and investing in integrating livestock into the organic field cropping system/rotation because they play an amazing roll in building soil health, invest in get a roller crimper to roll down cover crops so they act as mulch and then plant directly into the mulch.
During the conference there was a quick panel of two 8 year olds offering their thoughts on ACORN in the next 15 years. Frank participated. They were so sweet - Frank shared that he wants to see more organic farmers because organic farming is better for mother earth. And the other young farmer said that she hopes more people grow up and take over their parents organic farms. When Frank was preparing, his speech started with, 'in 15 years i will be 23 years old'....love that kid!
We drove home late on Wednesday evening. That night it got to be -5 degrees. Sadly the cold wasn't good for the fennel and kohlrabi. Josh didn't really want to go to ACORN because of the amount of things still not done on the farm - including the harvest of these two crops. It is a battle between us about leaving the farm. I often insist that we need to get off the farm and take in these learning opportunities and he feels really torn because it is really hard to manage from a distance the challenges that are created each day that he manages. I mean he wants to go, but at what cost. This is an ongoing challenge on our farm but also many farmers we meet and talk to it is the same thing. There are no substitute farmers to call when you want to go on a learning conference or take a holiday. It is one reason why many farmers 'shut down' for the winter - they are able to leave the farm without worry about the regular work still needing to happen without their leadership. Anyway, I am sure it is the same for many business owners in situations where you do not have the resources to replace yourself.
On Thursday I attended the annual advisory meeting for the Our Food Project work of the Ecology Action Centre. It is always a day filled with inspiration and struggle - the ideas and possibilities matched with how to make it all happen. Farm camp came back to me as an idea I want to follow up on as well as sorting out how new immigrants to Canada who want to could work on the farm in a way that is possible for us. Check out their work - at the EAC.
It has been a full and engaging week. We are so thankful to Ed, Jem, Kim, Justine, Rhea, Garfield, Falicia, Tim and the whole farm team for making it possible for the day to day to carry on and for us to have this opportunity to go and learn.
Have a lovely weekend!
It's a windy and rainy Monday here on the farm. First priority is to make sure the outdoor animals have dry places to shelter from the rain. Read more about the animal barn goings on in this weeks meat share blog.
Recipes from Denise's Test Kitchen - curated by Justine
Happy end of November, everyone! smile emoticon
I love butter and I love chicken, so this one pan lemon butter chicken is pretty much the best thing going. (L)
I think I may eat salads more in the winter than even in the summer months. Hearty salads are my style, with cheese, nuts, maybe apple or cranberries, and a light vinegrette. Make this one that uses raw Brussels sprouts (c)
Jamie Oliver's recipes seem to be simple and straight forward. As are his views on celeriac "What a surprisingly simple and comforting veg dish. Unfortunately everyone seems to be completely baffled by celeriac, but it's beautiful in soups or thinly sliced into salads. When roasted it goes sweet and when mixed with potato and mashed it's a complete joy." Jamie Oliver . (R)
Have a wonderful week, everyone! :)