Friday, September 14, 2012

New Green House

Guest Blog - written by Mike's mom (Lynn)

As peaceful and tranquil as it always is at Bantry Bay, there's never any lack of activity. This week the action started on the new greenhouse, which remains nameless. The first greenhouse the farmers put up was called 'The Gaffer', followed shortly by Feastly, Glassy, Jumby (no longer with us due to a rogue windstorm) and Old Betts (named after Mike's grandma who contributed some $$ towards its construction).

Like most areas in Canada, New Brunswick has a relatively short growing season, and each greenhouse manages to lengthen it by several weeks (even months). Plantings in the greenhouse ripen quicker and earlier and make those delicious vegetables available for a bit longer in the year.

One of the Bantry Bay farmers' goals for 2012 was the construction of a new greenhouse and a couple of weeks ago it arrived on the back of a truck. I hadn't thought much about it but once you remove the walls to a greenhouse (plastic covering) there isn't much to it.

Here's Mike maneuvering the entire greenhouse through the gap between the house and the barn with woofer Wade giving directions.
The plot for the new greenhouse is being carefully prepared.  Here Joanna and James (woofer and apprentice) survey the roped off area.

Mike expects the greenhouse to be completed in a month or so.  Check it out next time you come by and perhaps by then it will have a name.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Well, so far so good. A second post in one year!

February is always the most challenging month of the year. I know that probably sounds strange as there is very little actually happening on the farm in February but what is happening is a lot of waiting...
In February, we are teased with beautiful, sunny days that melt away the snow and make us feel like spring is just around the corner, only to be followed by a full winter snow storm the next day. February brings in all the seeds packets that have to wait patiently to be planted at the end of the month. February sees the end of much of the fresh greens we have for the winter in our greenhouse. February says, you can't do much right now but the onslaught of work is coming! February has one extra day this year.

Right now we are in the midst of finding an apprentice for our farm. This is our 4th year hosting an apprentice and it has been really interesting to see how much more popular this program is becoming. Our first year hosting happened by fluke. We had a friend refer student he had looking for an apprenticeship for her university degree to us. It worked out fantastically, she was a hard worker and keen learner and generally great character. The next year we decided to try it again and take on another apprentice. This time we signed up with SOIL through ACORN. Again, we found a fantastic apprentice who was a great worker, learner and character. This year we are look again to find a great match to be able to pass on the information we have learned over the last 6 years, to one or two folks who are interested in small scale, organic farming.
In our first year we had 4 applicants, three women and one man who was part of a couple. This year we have had over 15 applicants with almost an even balance between men and women. I am really excited about these "stats" because it indicates to me that young people are more fired up about food and the issues that surround our food systems today. To have so many people looking for an apprenticeship, for various reasons(to start their own farm, to be able to write about farming in their journalism career, to get away from the city, to know more about growing food), as someone who came into farming in order to make a change to our current food system, this is really exciting stuff!
Wishing the best of luck to all farmers(new, old or aspiring) this season!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Happy New Year All!

Well, it is 2012, only 3 years since our last post...and that was by Scott but I'll still count it:)

Last year was our 5th year of running the CSA. It was possibly also our best season yet. We for an even better one this year. So far we have had a fairly mild winter which may help with the bugs but who knows at this point. The lack of snow cover definitely has me a little bit worried about the garlic but the amazing thing about garlic is how resilient it is. Well, that's not the only amazing thing about garlic but it's one of them.

This year brought a fun surprise. Our friend Chris came by to drop off some of his wild mushrooms and told us he has the best crop of Shittake mushrooms they'd ever had. We had innoculated about 20 logs 3 or 4 years ago but nothing ever really came of it. When we heard him talking about how he'd had the same experience we thought we'd better check our logs, just incase. Well they were booming, some of the mushrooms were as big as my face! It was amazing. We quickly harvested them and enjoyed a few delicious meals with fresh from the log mushrooms. I wonder what will happen this summer? Wild mushrooms are really fun to hunt and eat but be sure you or someone you are with knows what to look for. Chantrelles are an easy one to start with and have a flavour unlike an other food I've tasted.

New this year?

We are hoping to get artichokes into our bags this year. It is a crop we have been working with for the last couple of years in the hopes of eventually getting it into the CSA. Fingers crossed!

We will be doing a lot more mulching this year after a poor haying season last year, we acquired a large amount of small square bales of hay. The biggest challenge with mulching is making sure you add enough mulch to an area. Mulching can do wonders, it keeps the soils moist(less watering), it keeps some pests away(but the cool dark underside is perfect for slugs), and best of all, if you get a good, thick layer on your plot, it can keep all your weeds at bay.

Well keep updating you through the season and let you know how things are going. Good luck to all of you reading who are experimenting with your own garden, flower pot or window box!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At the farm

The three Hadfield boys

My dad and I flew out to New Brunswick on Monday evening (overnight flight) to visit the farm. We both wanted to visit Mike again and thought it would be great to spend a bit of time out on the farm as well. I was out previously in the spring when they were mostly prepping. So this will be a good contrast to catch some of the harvesting.

Neither of us slept much on the flight so when we got here Tuesday we were both tired and didn't even get out onto the farm. The time change here is only 4h, but with my schedule change (I normally go to bed around 2am and that's switched to 9pm) it makes the time change almost 10h. I mostly slacked off today, but ended up getting a few photos and picking / "processing" some onions for their CSA tomorrow.

I'm out here until Monday and my dad for about another week after that. So it should be good times. And it'll probably be nice to have a couple extra hands on the farm.

This is also re-posted on my personal blog.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe


4 3/4 to 5 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup buttery spread
1/3 cup golden sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 fleggs (see notes at the bottom)

3/4 cup brown sugar (also see notes at the bottom)
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup buttery spread

1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 - 2 tbsp soymilk


1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir the milk, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees F) and the butter almost melts; add to flour mixture along with the fleggs. Mix with a wooden spoon (or if you really need to you could use an electric mixer on low) for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl. Then beat vigorously for 3 min. Stir in as much flour as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 min total) Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about an hour).

3. Punch dough down. Turn our onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover, let rest for 10 min. Meanwhile, lightly grease baking pans or sheets and set aside. For filling, stir together brown sugar, the 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon; cut the 1/3 cup butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a fork or your favorite cutting implement until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs or the butter isn't in big clumps anymore.

4. Roll each half of dough into a 12x8 -inch rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough rectangles. If desired, sprinkle with nuts or raisins (i was always sad when i found raisins in my cinnamon buns so i discourage the rasinage) Roll up each rectangle starting from a along side. Seal the seams by pinching. Slice the ends off each roll, then cut the remaining log into 12 pieces. Place in greased pans or sheets.

5. Now you can chill your buns for 2 to 24 hours if you don't want to cook them right away. If you are going to chill them cover loosely with plastic wrap. Then take them out of the fridge and uncover and let the buns rise 30 min before baking. If you don't chill them just let them rise for 30 min.

6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 min or until light brown. While the buns are baking prepare glaze by stirring together 1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Add enough soymilk to reach a drizzling consistency. Remove from the oven and drizzle with glaze before consuming.


(1 Flegg = 1 Flax egg = mix 1Tbsp ground flax with 3 Tbsp water and let sit for 10 min or so till it thickens up)

(Brown sugar can be made by adding 1tsp to 1 Tbsp of molasses, depending on how dark of brown sugar you want, to 1 cup of golden sugar and smushing the mixture with a fork until the molasses has been thoroughly distributed.)

I Hope you all enjoy this recipe!


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're Back! :)

Hey Folks! It's been sometime indeed. Thanks to Scott's visit and the high speed Internet install today; the farm has been given a kick in the pants into the 21st century.

The installers had some technical difficulties, but all in all they did a bang-up job and with mike's trip to the US to drop his brother back in Bangor, he also had time to pick us up a wireless router, so now the farm is connected and wire free :) I am in heaven again.

Sadly there is a cap on max downloads per day, but it's not a big deal, i will just have to scale down my web tv habits that i gained in fredie over the past 12 months. So i guess i should go into that.

I am back on the farm! Yay, I have a part semester left and then i will be graduating with a Honours Major in Computer Science and a Minor in Math (If all goes as planned). I will be commuting up to fredie to finish that up this fall, and as such i needed transportation, so i purchased a 2004 Ford Ranger from some friends of ours!

All in all i have been busy since being back on the farm, and i haven't really done much farming, i am more of the lunch chef and errand runner. As well as Chief Moral Officer (or Neelix, for the HC dorks out there).

Well now that we have high speed there really is no excuse for not blogging it up so i will try and get those farmers inspired to post a farm update. Many things have changed since i have been gone, but it is soooooo gooooood to be back.

Hope everyone out there is having a great time and now that we have finally upgraded, i look forward seeing most of you online or in person again soon.


The farms is now viewable (at least how it was in fall of 2007) on googlemaps here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cinnamon buns

Brad made 84 cinnamon buns this morning... there's 8 of us, need I say more?