Battling the heat, drought, and weeds… with a few friends.

It has been another busy week on the farm and out in the garden.

I was fortunate to have a couple spontaneous WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) drop in – my friend Ben and a new friend Kat. They spent a few days at the farm camping and working during the mornings, doing weeding and watering, and then paddling the Ottawa in the hot afternoons. In the 7th week without rain, it was such a blessing having a helping hand from these two. Since most of my mornings and evenings are spent watering, I’m suddenly limited with how much time I am spending out there weeding! Thanks again guys!

Kat and Ben ready to leave with their catnip, stinging nettle, and lambs quarters.

Speaking to Pembroke’s Boys and Girls Club

Today I was fortunate to be invited to speak a little bit about what I do to an incredible group of children a the Boys and Girls Club in Pembroke. I brought in a few props including:

  • A double yolk egg – to show that eggs don’t always come out perfectly uniform. We cracked it then and there as well!
  • An old and new garden hoe – to show how old tools are still used today and to show the wear and tear on the old hoe… that generation worked hard!
  • Hay and straw for comparison – to teach the children the difference.
  • Heirloom Flamingo Pink Swiss Chard – to help explain how there used to be many varieties of veggies, compared to the common varieties we usually see now.
  • Seeds and Beets – to show how incredible it is that we grow big veggies from tiny seeds in only a couple months.
  • Seeds, Seedlings, and full grown Kohlrabi – to show the impressive progress of veggie growth. We left the kids with a kohlrabi – a new and interesting veggie that many there have never tasted before.

The kids were completely attentive and loaded full of questions, it was such a pleasure to speak to  a crew of keen aspiring locavores!

Wood for the Winter

Dad has been busy bringing up fire wood from the bush. Did you know that our farm is heating 100% with fire? We have a fantastic out door furnace that we use to heat the farm house and water year round. While we are not heating the house in the summer, we still fire up the furnace about once a week for a few hours to heat our water boiler for hot showers and dishes for a few days. It’s also a good way for us to use up the slabs from the Peterson sawmill. We hope to run a hot water pipe from the outdoor furnace to the seedling nursery to heat the space in the spring.

Dad and 1/3 of our woodpile… great piling!

Life changing potato bug picking technique

Finally thee most exciting part of the week: I can finally pick potato bugs on mass thanks to an idea from a couple new vendor friends at the Carp Farmers Market. The technique requires one of those wooden harvest baskets you can get at M&R Feeds and a good ol’ badminton raquette. Place the bin with the mouth facing the plant and just whack the bugs off the plant with the raquette! They fly straight in the basket. My sister Emily and her boyfriend Jeremy were here on the weekend working in the garden with me and Jer and I covered almost an acre of potatoes in a matter of a few hours – and effectively! If you have quit growing potatoes because of the bugs, give this method a try.  I will try to get a photo posted of our impressive collection of bugs!

I will never tire of our incredible sunsets here…

Better than TV

Have a great week all! Looks like a bit of rain in the forecast…. that will certainly help me sleep better at night!