It is becoming a too common trend for me to start these blogs with some elaborate excuse for my lengthy absence, but I'm giving that up in favour of actual content that you care about, or maybe you don't, but at least you don't have to put up with my guilt.
Just in case you didn't know, this past week was Organic Week in Canada! We celebrated a few different ways:
First, we rented land RIGHT in the heart of potato country, surrounded by Cavendish Farms. This isn't the first time we've been asked by land owners who want their fields farmed organically, but it's the first time it's been close enough to consider and although it needs a little tender lovin' care, will be a great, reasonable expansion of what we're currently doing. The landowner is very keen as well and was open to our ideas. Mark has it cut down and ready for turn over very soon.
Second, we attended the PEI Certified Organic Producers CoOp annual Harvest Meal. It was good. Well, they ran out of our chicken, and chocolate cake before we got any, and it didn't say it was our chicken anywhere, and the photo slideshow showed only non-organic livestock in a barn, but it was good. The entertainment was Patrick Ledwell, a local comedian who was hilarious! My face hurt, I laughed so much. So funny.
Third, we killed the last of our chickens. Thanks (in HUGE part) to a family of very resourceful kids up the road, we have refined our processing line to a point where we feel pretty confident that next year we won't have to take any to the abbatoir. We also got in a shipment of the shrink wrap bags in time for the latest killing and what a difference! They look like store-bought little treasures, only better because they're pasture-raised and organic-fed! haha!
Fourth, I made some friggin amazing pumpkin pies with pumpkin from Jen and Derek's Farm (where, conveniently I work two mornings a week). This actually has nothing to do with organic week, but I feel the need to brag about the best pies I've ever made. It's the first time I used a proper 'pie pumpkin', rather than an ol' jack-o-lantern and I can't believe the difference. There was no water to drain off and it roasted up like a dream! Combined with some super fresh, rich raw whipped cream, and I'm in heaven.
Lastly, our new batch of chickens celebrated organic week by kicking it in gear and started laying, which is good, since last year's ladies seem to be taking a bit of a vacation. So for all you egg customers who have been frustrated with our hit and miss egg availability this summer, COME BACK! They're small right now, but in the next couple months, will be ramping up into insanity.
In other news, Mark is lined up at the start line ready to tackle our first-ever crop of buckwheat that is laid out ready for pick up, as well as the beans which apparently just need "a couple nice days". Finally the weeds have started to die in my own garden so it's that wonderful time of year when the fruits of my (planting only) labour is revealed! haha. I lost my tomatoes pretty early on to blight, so I am excited to see my big squash yield, as if that somehow makes up for a lack of tomatoes. I think next year I'll stick to a couple bean plants, some corn, a row of potatoes and a lot of carrots, squash and peppers. Working for Jen this summer caused a real downturn in my enthusiasm for my own comparatively pathetic garden compared to the organized Eden she maintains. Thankfully, a bonus to working there is unlimited veggies as well, so I've been able to fuel my newfound love of kale all season! That's right! Kale! Whodathunkit!?
The growing season might be winding down, but that just means that meeting season is winding up. Mark and I are busy trying to meet the various deadlines that come with the national Outstanding Young Farmers event in November. It's probably for the best that there are deadlines requiring us to work on it now, otherwise, we'd just keep pushing it aside in favour of other speaking engagements that will be here first. Namely, the ACORN Conference is here on PEI in November as well, and is taking full advantage of our 'knowledge' (and time) ha!!
On top of that, our roller derby bouting season might be over, but tis the season for training Fresh Meat and planning awards galas, so there's a bit of that going on as well.
Abby, I will do my best to post some photos for you this week. (Miss you, but LOVIN' that blog!) Maybe I'll see if Lucy wants to contribute to the blog with her own entry. I'm sure she has some interesting perspectives for what goes on around here. Or at least, a good ol' knock knock joke, which never grow old, if you're to believe the frequency of them around here.
Hope this finds you sleeping with the windows open and heavy quilts.