Friday, June 30, 2006

Vegis?? Oh yeah!!

I've been meaning to put some pictures up on the blog, but up until recently i haven't actually been too sure on how to do it. Making thumbnails, uploading, html, etc. However, Brad made a handy dandy tutorial for us, so now the pictures and posts should be a little quicker to come. In fact, i think i might do a kind of 'Pic of the Day'. So, as a first, here's a shot of our field taken last week.

All our Vegis are doing nicely out in the field. So nicley in fact, that we took a whole bunch to market this week!! It was our 5th market overall but we had yet to actually have any vegetables to sell(We had baking however). The harvest started at about 4:30 in the morning, and Luke, Katherine and me went to work. By this time Brad was already well underway baking muffins for market. It took a little while to pick, wash, dry and bag but byt the end we had enough for about 20-25 bags of greens, 10 bunches of kale, 10 bunches of radishs and about 5 bags of spinach. It wasn't a huge amount, but it was exciting none the less.

Cleaning and bagging the last of the lettuce, as well as trying to stay covered up so the bugs dont eat me.

Our heirloom radishs, including: Easter Egg, French Breakfast, Cherry Belle and White Icicle. We also have a Black Spanish radish on its way.

The market went really well despite the fact that it was pretty fogged in. We managed to sell all the vegetables we brought which was pretty encouraging, although we are starting to look for more places to sell our produce, like restaurants. Here's some shots of our booth at market.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Some Exciting Times on BBF

OK, it's been an exciting couple of weeks here on the farm. My brother Scott and sister-in-common-law Arianne arrived in St Andrews on the 11th. They hung out at the farm for a few days and then as Arianne's allergies got fairly bad so we packed up and headed out to visit my Aunt, Uncle and 3 cousins who live in Charlottown. Katherine, who also has an Aunt and Uncle who live on the island, decided to tag along and visit with them for a few days. Charlottown is quite a beautiful city and has a nice walkable downtown/harbour area. It was great to be with all of them as they were the first family I'd seen since coming out east. However my parents are flying into Quebec City on the 1st of July so I'll see them in a couple weeks too.

So while me and Kath were out on PEI this left Brad and Luke to hold down the farm and take care of Market while we were gone. What could go wrong? Well in fact, nothing went wrong. Hurray! Well, at least nothing went wrong that was their fault, per se. Although, while Brad was baking the muffins for market the oven broke and ended up burning the bunch, so... no muffins for market :).

Yesterday, the four of us took a trip up to Cornhill Nursery which sells tons of different trees, shrubs, flowers and.... FRUIT! We picked up 2 Apple trees, 1 pear tree, 2 Blueberry bushes, 4 grape vines and get this, KIWIS!!! Bet you didn't know that kiwis could tolerate winters as cold as -40C. In fact all the trees we bought and in fact, everything that Cornhill sells is cold hardy enough for NB weather. So now we have to both find a spot and plant our fruit... and then BAM!! Magical fruit for years to come. If you find these types of things exciting, which I do, then these are very exciting times.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Com-POST

I'm writing a post about compost. What compost? The compost we built today. It all started when a man named Brian drove a dump truck full of horse manure onto our field today and....dumped.

So we got started. We laid down a bunch of pine boughs just to give it a little lift off the ground for drainage and aeration. Then we started making layers. Like a wedding cake of poo. We started with hay for a few inches, then horse manure, then seaweed(which had been sitting in a big stinky pile for the last two months, as our dedicated readers will remember) then sod(cut off our field a couple of months ago) then hay, and all the way through the cycle again and again until it was about 4 feet high. The end result was a big pile of delicious waste, ready to break down into delicious humus(delicious for our plants next year hopefully). Who would have thought shoveling crap could be so much fun!

We still have lots of manure, so more compost piles will be coming soon, and we may get more too, from other local horse owners with big piles of poo, and no one to turn them into veggies.

In other news, Katherine will begin reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho to us tonight. Should be a hoot. Also, Mike and I have started up daily juggling practice again, after our inspiring first market experience.

And more! Thursday night, Mike and I went to St. John for a conference on "Atlantica" where we saw Maude Barlow and a couple of others speak about/against Deep Integration and Free Trade. It was very moving at times, and it's also always nice to be in a room of 500 or so people who really care. To quickly introduce the issue, big business in the maritimes is hoping to diminish the border between us and New England even more than NAFTA already has. So basically all of the problems associated with free trade apply. For those of you unfamiliar with such issues or wishing to learn more, please visit and click on the section called "deep integration"(on the left menu) All in all, an inspiring event, and perhaps a slight kick in the butt to be a little more educated on current events. But it can't beat shoveling poop!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Our First Fantastic Farmer's Market!

So this is the Farmer's Market of St. Andrews, it is held every Thursday starting at 8:30am. We do not have any vegetables or greens ready for sale, so we decided to take organic vegan baking to market till we have sufficient vegetables to fill up our booth.

To sell prepared foods at market someone needs foodsafe, so I elected myself to take the course in St. John, and visit family in the area as well.

The Course was all about salmonella, Ecoli, Camplyobacter, and other high-protein (meat) food-borne illnesses, so being a vegan I found most of this information wasn't a huge benefit, but ah well, makes me happy that I won't have to worry about all those fun little bacteria.

On Wednesday night, the night before market, I baked Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, Fruit-Filled Oatmeal Bars, and Peanut Butter Macaroons. I got finished up at about 11:30pm and was in bed and asleep probably around 12:30am. I woke up at 4:30am to start baking Muffins, I wasn't sure how long a quadruple batch of muffins would take to bake so I left a lot of time. I was done in plenty of time before market to relax before we drove into town.

One of our benefactors, Terry (Tony's Sister), lent us her car for the day. It was great having a car for market because we got to drive all the way into the market square and pop open the trunk and setup right there.

We didn't have a lot of things to setup a booth for market. So it was my mission in St. John, with the help of the Auntie Trudy Taxi Service, to find a canopy and some containers to sell stuff from. So our booth consisted of our newly bought canopy a plastic table that we were using in the greenhouse, a couple of bed sheets as table clothes the plastic containers full of vegan baking, terry's trunk as s seat, and a very old "Bantry Bay Farm" sign we found near one of the barns.

The day didn't look super nice but we had our first customer fairly quickly.

It was rainy and windy off and on throughout the day, so a few vendors packed up early and left we stayed strong until most of the baking was sold out and it was down pouring, then we packed up and called it a day. It was a great experience and nice being a crappy day so now we know that I can bake a lot more and on a nice day expect it to sell. All in all it was a fantastic day.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Wwoofer #1 & Wwoofer #3

Another successful Davar visit. This past week my dear old friend/sister Myia Davar and her beautiful partner Mike Liston came to experience the FARM. They were a little gift sent from the time fairies and made everything seem smooth and luxurious. They arrived on Monday and on Tuesday we put them to work planting tomatoes, squash and beans. We introduced them to some of the local lasses and lads and they even got to see the market which we will be at starting this coming Thursday. There visit ended for too soon but they did find a ride back to Fredericton with a wonderful gentleman who played harmonica. He played us a diddy and then wisked them away and now they are off in the abyss of Montreal, back in the city life! It was so great to have them here and share in the excitement of making dreams come true. Myia always reminds me how important it is to play! Everything is joyful, we just have to keep our mind open to that. Thank you for your therapeutic laughter! And thank you Mike for spending some time with me and making delicious soup!

Carry ON

P.S. We have decided since having Mike and Myia that we are going to sign up to have wwoofers come help us out in ther following years!