This is a very exciting time of year for us veggie growers; the seeds are in the post and due to arrive within the next week or so; the garden map and planting schedules are being worked (and re-worked); the sun is shinning and spirits are high in anticipation of spring! So much to do! On Tuesday, we took a webinar (seminar via the internet) on record keeping for the organic farmer. Today, we took another webinar on crop planning. We've taken similar courses in the past but it's always nice to have a refresher and hear how other farmers are running their operations and new techniques they may be using. For information on farming webinars, go to the Canadian Organic Growers website: www.cog.ca.
We've put the word out that we're looking for an intern (or two) from May until October. See the C.R.A.F.T. website (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training in Ontario) for details on the program http://www.craftontario.ca/ or go to the right-hand column of this page and click on the link "Intern Position Available".
The CSA is starting to fill up! We are offering 40 shares this year. Last year, we were full by June but I have a feeling we'll fill up much earlier this year. The word is out and people are becoming more interested in eating local, sustainable food. Not only can members of a CSA feel good about reducing their carbon footprints, they also get to eat vegetables that taste SO MUCH BETTER than those darn California greens I've been eating throughout the winter! My goal for this year and every year after is to preserve enough veggies in the fall so that I never have to walk down the vegetable isle in a grocery store AGAIN!
I just added our CSA to the Ontario CSA directory - check it out! www.csafarms.ca (Thanks for the link, David!)
Two nights ago, we had a blackout in the St. Albert/Casselman area. Jonny was down the street milking cows for the neighbour. Farms usually have generators so someone hooked up the generator and they continued milking, with not much delay. I, on the other hand, was doing some paper work when the lights went out. I had no idea how dark it could be out here in the sticks! I looked out the back and saw that the big overhead light was out so I knew immediately the whole property had lost power. I ran to the front window to discover that the entire street had gone dark. My neighbour's tractor was flashing it's siren-like twirly lights but that was the only illumination I had to work with. Luckily, my cell phone was nearby so I used it to find matches to light all of the candles I could find (which were mostly sabbath and hanukah candles!) and then started a fire in the wood stove. Sitting in the silence, I realized that I could no longer connect to the internet, watch TV, read, or do my paperwork. The event was a nice reminder of how much I rely on electricity to do EVERYTHING. More often than not, we take these luxuries for granted and take little time to appreciate our good fortune. When Jonny got home, we made a list of emergency supplies we need to stock up on and listened to the radio on my ipod until we fell asleep. The power came back on about 4 hours later and I still don't know what happened to cause the disturbance.
Until mid-March, you'll be able to find us pouring over seed packages and excel spread sheets before we get started seeding in the greenhouse. Enjoy the rest of your winter because spring is right around the corner!