The Weblog

This page contains news, event information, and other items added by myself, the intrepid farmer-in-process at Old 99. I send out a message every week, but most are set with a delete date about two weeks later. I archive some of the posts if they have content other than weekly availability of produce and meat.

You can send me questions too, which if they are of a general nature, I can post to this Old99 blog.



 
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Old 99 Farm, week of Aug 21 2016


We have five fresh lambs, honey garlic mutton sausage, soup bones, organ meats in the freezer now. Lambs wrapped weight from 25 to 35lbs, cuts include frenched rack of ribs, deboned leg roasts, shanks, loin and sirloin chops organs bones and ground lamb. We have lamb stew/kabobs, sausage and bones for dogfood.

The advanced orders for roasting chickens have been picked up, there are lots left, whole, halved or quartered. Twelve weeks old, about 6lb avg weight, raised on pasture with organic grain rations. Very flavourful.

The veggie garden is lush with bounty, it’s a long list: cuccumber, young chard, beet root, beet tops, green onions, leek, rhubarb, kale, arugula, tomatoes, string beans (yellow, green and purple varieties), potatoes (cobbler and purple), garlic, and herbs: chives dill, spearmint, bronze fennel and lovage.

I have spared y’all any climate news of late, as I shift my perspective again to stay current with developments. The pace of climate upsets is increasing, as you would expect with any natural system.

But here’s a sample of the main dilemna of our time, being ‘what can one person do?’ to make a difference in the climate crisis that is upon us.

Jane Braaten was traveling in India and was confronted at one village with this graffiti: Protect the earth. Live simply. Act with compassion. Our future depends on it.. Then upon returning to the United States she writes, "I’m wondering what cultural, social or political resources we have, especially at the local level, that can help us to see ourselves as part of a common effort to ensure everyone is taken care of. I’ve seen and heard of towns and small cities that have strong social service networks, engaged congregations, and municipal leaders who pay attention to quality of life and stresses in the community. I still think we could do a better job of spreading the spirit of openness and compassion, of taking more responsibility for the conditions we live in, and of building our stamina for participation and engagement. Only through building some trust and confidence in each other, sharing burdens, and making sure that all our needs are met, will we truly find the motivation to protect the earth.

How far is this from our situation in the Hamilton foodshed?

We are taking reservations for the Natural Cheesemaking workshop Nov 11-12. Please tell if you’re interested.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of Aug 12 2016


Reminder, lots of fresh picked vegetables here now: beans (yellow, green, purple, broad), potatoes, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, chard, beets, garlic, basil, parsley.
Eggs are in good supply.
Roasting and soup chickens crop for 2016 now in the freezer.
Lamb including honey garlic sausage will be here Friday.

Cheesemaking workshop Nov 11 and 12, with David Asher, Black Sheep Cheesemaking. $100 limited to 10 people, get deposits in early.

Enjoy healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of Aug 7th 2016


As of Aug 7th , we can offer the following crops: cuccumber, young chard, beet root, beet tops, green onions, leek, rhubarb, kale, arugula, tomatoes, string beans (yellow, green and purple varieties), potatoes (cobbler and purple), garlic, and herbs: chives dill, spearmint, bronze fennel and lovage.

The new roaster chickens are in the freezers, whole halves and quarters. Same price as last year.

Could “we the people” handle a bit more of the truth? One would certainly like to think so. As it is, the US and the rest of the world appear to be sleepwalking into history’s greatest shitstorm of an election. The candidates bode ill for the immediate future. Given the absence of helpful leadership at the national level, our main opportunity for effective preparation and response to the wolf at our doorstep appears to lie in local resilience building. Check out Hamilton 350, Hamilton Permaculture Guild, or Environment Hamilton for local efforts and community building. All have facebook pages.

Surf over to Resilience.org for more on this.

We’d like to go ahead with the natural cheesemaking workship with David Asher, (google Black Sheep Cheesemaking) on Nov 11/12. There will also be a public lecture on the Friday evening. Could you indicate your interest in attending? Cost likely $200 for the weekend.

Healthy Eating
Ian and Cami.

Old 99 Farm, week of Aug 1st 2016


Each more fresh picked crops to offer. As of Aug 4th , we can offer the following crops: pickling cuccumber, young chard, beet root, beet tops, green onions, leek, rhubarb, kale, arugula, tomatoes, string beans (yellow, green and purple varieties), potatoes, garlic, and herbs: chives dill, spearmint, bronze fennel and lovage.

I will have the new harvest of roasting chickens this Friday as well as stewing hens.

I’m offering honey again, from Shawn McCarty’s Chickabee Farm.

Old 99 Farm, week of July 24 2016


We’ll have new potatoes string beans, zukes and garlic this week. Potatoes are Irish cobbler variety, good to boil and eat lots of butter. Tomatoes are coming in more plentifully, yellow cherries, red cherries and red slicing tomatoes, with lots of basil to garnish them.
Regular supply of chard, kale, beet tops, arugula, eggplant, currants, raspberries, leeks, parsley and herbs. Harvesting a lush crop of purslane for the first time. It’s companioning the carrots and keeping the ground cool around them.

Who’s interested in an artisanal cheesemaking workshop? We’re lining up with David Asher of Cortes Is, BC who has started the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking. Cami went for a weekend, and we’re hooked. Much to learn and do with simple methods. Don’t need raw milk but it helps. Kefir is the foundation for everything he teaches. Let us know if you’d spend a weekend or a day learning cheesemaking the natural way.

Taking orders for lamb again: please speak up if you are interested. Roasting chickens are going to butcher Aug 4th, be ready Aug 6th.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old99 farm week of July 17 2016


More heat and no rain in sight. thankfully I got a head start on irrigation on the berry hill so the fruit is in good shape. This week I’ve installed drip lines in the front garden bringing water from the pond by gravity. That’s pretty cool I ’d say!

Can offer kale, chard, beet tops, onions, zuchinni, herbs, parsley, tomatoes, eggplant, arugula raspberries, gooseberries (order in the comments section) and currants. The garlic crop is harvested and will be available for sale starting this week

Eggs are plentiful.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Raspberries and Currants


Great crop this year, picking is at its easiest, canes are loaded.
Upick and Prepick
Come on by…

Old 99 Farm, week of July 10


There was a time in my life when cheesemaking meant time, temperature control and money spent on buying ‘special’ cultures. And at that time I was not interested in any of the above! Well, this past weekend, while attending one of David Asher’s workshops, my mind was changed about cheesemaking. David is a young organic farmer, enthusiastic cheesemaker, and passionate teacher. He is now touring to promote his book ‘The Art of Natural Cheesemaking’. I, Cami, have learned a lot about making good kefir and yogourt, as well as various yummy soft and hard cheeses (crème fraîche, chèvre, crottin, mozzarella, brie, camembert, blue cheeses, gouda, alpine, cheddar, ricotta).

Now, you want to know why I am so excited about all of these and wanting to try them all? Because everything is simple, clear, and we have everything we need to make them right here on the farm!
As of now, I’m growing the kefir culture and soon we’ll be able to share it with you. Please let us know if you are interested! Keep in touch!

Place your orders for the week please, we’ll have them ready for you on Friday!

Ian and Cami

Berries ready to harvest


I am so thrilled, in the nick of time I got irrigation on the raspberries and currants, which were looking rather small and wizened, due to the drought. Now they’re plump and soft and sweet!!

So U-Pick is open for the locallygrown list. Come to the farm, find me (cell phone page if necessary) and get baskets in the store or bring your own.

Raspberries $1.50/100gm (1/3 pint) so $4.50/pint for Upick.

Currants $.80/100 gm or $2.40/pint.

Should be a crop on for about a week to ten days, depending if we get rain (which will cause spoilage faster).

come on out!

Old 99 farm, week of July 3 2016


There will be U-pick raspberries and currants this week. These berry crops are bountiful this year. We’ll also have some pre-picked if you are in a rush. Currants make a wonderful jam or cordial, high in nutrition.

Regular crops: kale, beet tops, chard, green onions, green garlic, arugula, parsley and tomatoes. Should have yellow zuchini next week.

I went to Bob Bratina’s townhall meeting on climatechange today. A bigger than expected turnout made it clear that if you are informed about climate change, you have every reason to be alarmed. Bob is the Liberal MP for Stoney Creek, former mayor and a sports broadcaster before that. He gets it. But he like most every other politician has NO IDEA how to lead the country through a crisis the likes of which no one has ever experienced, even world war. We heard several pleas that the feds take this climate thing as seriously as we would another world war. Bob was at loss of how to proceed, and yet he gets it that building more oil infrastructure is foolish if to keep below 2degC we have to leave 80% of the carbon fuels in the ground. He gets it that building car-centric cities and burbs is foolish when transportation in the Hammer contributes more than a quarter of all GHG pollution. He gets that the people have to wake up and take responsibility for personal decisions that consume oil and produce carbon. I can hardly blame him for now knowing how to navigate into a future we can only dread if we stay the ‘business as usual’ course.
You and I and our friends and relations have to get with the program: get informed, take to heart we live in the age of limits, care enough for younger generations to forgo consumption pleasures etc now.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami