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 Dec 14 2014


Yes, another mild spell is upon us, no snow and no frost in the ground. Normal for this time of year is -2 to -6dC, which is forecast to catch up with us by mid week.

I have the Old 99 pork now in the freezer: cuts include loin chops, butt chops, side ribs, bacon, smoked hams, picnic roast, smoked hocks, fresh hocks and feet, lard, sausage and ground. A half pig provides about 65 lb of meat, at about 15 discount from buying the same mix of cuts at retail.

Also have 50 stewing hens now in the freezer; these are my two year old layers and some Sussex roosters. Price is $7/kg most weight around 2kg.

We continue to have a good selection of greens and root vegetables.

Next thurs is last market day before Christmas, will do a market on Sat Dec 27th. If you need something special or in a hurry, feel free to call.

In the area of food education, I just received three new dvds: Fed Up (sugar in our food causing epidemic scale havoc with our metabolism), GMO OMG, about yes, genetically molested foods and why it’s a problem (suited to family viewers) and Genetic Roulette (we haven’t viewed this one yet). If you would like to borrow any of these, just let me know.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Camelia.

Old 99 Farm, week of Dec 7 2014


Carrots are in the cold cellar, 4 bushels of them (that’s 140 L, which sounds more impressive )

The pork cutting instructions have been given to the butcher and you will be able to pick up your half or individual cuts on Thurs 18th, that’s next week.

As of Dec 7th, we can offer 60+ items including the following crops: salad greens, arugula, mint, spinach, beet root (two varieties, Detroit Red and Chiogga), chard, celeriac, carrots, collards, squashes (hubbard, butternut, Sibley, buttercup, spaghetti and delicata).

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: garlic pesto, cucumber relish, quiches (on order).

Meats
Beef cuts are now limited but I have lots of ground beef. I have 5 lambs in the freezer, as well as veal. Geese and chicken are sold out. I have live stewing hens for sale at $6 each.

The pork will be back from the butcher on December 18th.

Eggs
My current price is $6/XL doz. I sell mixed size dozens that weigh at least 588 gm (medium), 672 grams, the ‘large’ size dozen, and Extra Large, 770gm plus carton. Please bring in recycled cartons.

Raw Honey
The summer crop is extracted from the comb and available. You bring your jar and fill it here, or buy in prefilled mason jars.

Thank you to all bringing in recycled egg cartons, hold off now, I have several months supply.

OLd 99 Farm Week of Nov 30 2014


This is the week to shout CARROTS CARROTS! Ours are still in the ground, cool and crispy, getting sweeter with the frosty weather. Very tasty for eating fresh but quite fine for cooking too. Prices reduced on orders over 3kg by 20%.

Leeks are ready to be harvested, also still in the ground for flavour development. And in the cold cellar, root crops, squashes and garlic.

As of Nov 30th, we can offer 60+ items including the following crops: mint, beet tops, spinach, beet root (two varieties, Detroit Red and regular), chard, celeriac, carrots, collards, squashes (hubbard, butternut, Sibley, buttercup, spaghetti and delicata) and kale.

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: garlic pesto, cucumber relish, quiches (on order). Arugula pesto is her latest and it’s a delight, but you can make your own too!

Meats
Beef cuts are now available, a total of about 300 lbs of pastured meats. There are several geese in the freezer. I have 5 lambs in the freezer, still have about 10 chickens as well as veal.
I have listed pork now so that you can order specific cuts and I’ll know how to instruct the butcher: pork coming in December.

Eggs
My current price is $6/XL doz. I sell mixed size dozens that weigh at least 588 gm (medium), 672 grams, the ‘large’ size dozen, and Extra Large, 770gm plus carton. Please bring in recycled cartons.

We're termites gnawing at the foundations, are we?


I met an acquaintance in the Home Hardware today from about 2009 who attended Peter Bane’s Urban Permaculture weekend at the farm.

Well, I have kept on with this hopeful track, mainly because it is so practical. No false promises or groundless illusions, just scalable actions we can each and all take at the household level and up. One household in each block, one block in each neighbourhood, one neighbourhood in each settlement and on it goes. Unstoppable.

I have just come back from a wonderful permaculture teacher training course with Peter Bane. The outcome: three of us are planning to run a basic permaculture course here next summer. I will want to talk with many of you about how to leverage the local networks we’re a part of. So please, if you feel the urge, get back to me pronto.

(If you’re at the ‘so what’s permaculture anyway stage, I suggest you google ’primer on permaculture and pick one of many matches. Such as http://www.ibiblio.org/london/permaculture/mailarchives/permaculture-links/msg00137.html
or
http://www.bigskypermaculture.ca/node/30

On a large thought scale…

These two excerpts from a long essay by Albert Bates on his blog, http://www.peaksurfer.blogspot.ca/ are a good thumbnail of a possible future.

(Just got Eliz May’s fundraising letter. Same assessment of the situation.)

George Lakey in his 1976 Manifesto for Nonviolent Revolution <https://www.warresisters.org/revisiting-manifesto-nonviolent-revolution> laid out a five-stage strategy for nonviolent revolution:

Stage 1. Cultural Preparation or “Conscientization:” Education, training and consciousness raising of why there is a need for a nonviolent revolution and how to conduct a nonviolent revolution.

Stage 2. Building Organizations: Affinity groups or nonviolent revolutionary groups are organized to provide support, maintain nonviolent discipline, provide a coherent vision, and recruit and train people into networks.

Stage 3. Confrontation: Organized and sustained campaigns of picketing, strikes, sit-ins, marches, boycotts, die-ins, blockades to disrupt business as usual in institutions and government.

Stage 4. Mass Non-cooperation: Similar affinity groups and networks of affinity groups around the country and world, engage in similar actions to disrupt business as usual.

Stage 5. Parallel Government: Developing parallel institutions to take over functions and supplant former practices of government and commerce.

Like Naomi Klein, whose This Changes Everything <http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/2014/10/this-changes-nothing-naomi-kleins.html> was long on dirty laundry and short on detergent, Stewart Brand (in new book rEVOLution)breaks down the things that stand in the way of real change: fiat money manipulation, dollared democracy, incest between the government, media and banking interests. What we’re left with, Brand argues, is “a man-made system designed to serve us, an ideological machine. It has gone wrong and is tyrannizing us. We wouldn’t tolerate that from a literal machine. If my vacuum cleaner went nuts and forced me to live in economic slavery … I’d chuck it out the window.”
<http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rGZLuWh7-4E/VHHfkxXryuI/AAAAAAAAH48/4Jb3GwIpWVI/s1600
/Russell-Brand.jpg>

Brand and Klein are both at Stage 1. The Transition <http://www.transitionnetwork.org/> movement has already moved on to stages 2,4 and 5. It skipped stage 3 because confrontation was viewed as unnecessary, and Transition’s stage 4, non-cooperation, is very selective. Like Permaculture’s David Holmgren, <http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/2014/01/charting-collapseniks.html> Transition’s Rob Hopkins <http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins> is making revolution without breaking glass.

They are termites, gnawing at the foundations of death-wish winner-take-all dying empire, while drawing up blueprints for the giant earthen mounds that will replace the crumbling plastic and tinfoil edifice of globalized consumer civilization.

“We are having a revolution here, make no mistake. But it is going to be non-violent.” – Peter Schweitzer, Forty Years on The Farm <https://vimeo.com/20679416>

Right, now I hope to hear from you, right here on this blog.

Old 99 Farm, week of Nov 23, 2014


As of Nov 23th, we can offer 60+ items including the following crops: mint, beet tops, spinach, beet root (two varieties, Detroit Red and regular), yellow plum tomatoes, chard, celeriac, eggplant, carrots, collards, squashes (hubbard, butternut, Sibley, buttercup) summer squashes (spaghetti and delicata) and kale.

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: garlic pesto, cucumber relish, quiches (on order). Arugula Pesto is her latest and it’s a delight, but you can make your own too! We have homemade grape jelly too from the Mazzonis next door.

Meats
Beef cuts are now available, a total of about 500 lbs of pastured meats. There are several geese in the freezer. I have 6 lambs in the freezer, still have about 10 chickens as well as veal.
I have listed pork now so that you can order specific cuts and I’ll know how to instruct the butcher: pork coming in December.

Eggs
My current price is $6/XL doz. I sell mixed size dozens that weigh at least 588 gm (medium), 672 grams, the ‘large’ size dozen, and Extra Large, 770gm plus carton. Please bring in recycled cartons.

Raw Honey
The first crop is sold out, I have several boxes ready to extract from the summer crop. You bring your jar and fill it here, or buy in prefilled mason jars.

Thank you to all bringing in recycled egg cartons, hold off now, I have several months supply.

Celeriac is a celery that is grown for the root, to be eaten like other root crops: mashed, in stews, steamed, etc. I like it in bone broths and soups. We have a good crop in storage now. See this site for recipes: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/celeriac

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-20/a-two-century-fight-for-the-small-the-local-and-the-beautiful

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-20/facts-values-and-dark-beer

Well, I must echo and quote JM Greer in the essay I just gave a link to. There is much to despair about and its so easy to give up, to live for the moment and let the devil take the hindmost. But that is a tough way to live out the rest of our years and a stern sentence for our children. So please consider reading these two essays, with the conclusion in mind:

“As for me—well, all things considered, I find that being alive beats the stuffing out of the alternative, and that’s true even though I live in a troubled age in which scientific and technological progress show every sign of grinding to a halt in the near future, and in which warfare, injustice, famine, pestilence, and the collapse of widely held beliefs are matters of common experience. The notion that life has to justify itself to me seems, if I may be frank, faintly silly, and so does the comparable claim that I have to justify my existence to it, or to anyone else. Here I am; I did not make the world; quite the contrary, the world made me, and put me in the irreducibly personal situation in which I find myself. Given that I’m here, where and when I happen to be, there are any number of things that I can choose to do, or not do; and it so happens that one of the things I choose to do is to prepare, and help others prepare, for the long decline of industrial civilization and the coming of the dark age that will follow it.”

Healthy Eating
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm, week of Nov 15 2014


We’re heading into the first cold snap of the winter this week, with steady -5 and lower, which indeed is below normal for this time of year. Small consolation!

Veggie greens are doing fine in the greenhouse and root crops and squashes are in storage. All good. Meat freezers are well stocked, my pigs are now 200lb and will be going to the butcher in early December. One is spoken for already, but I will make sides available.

The Permaculture Teacher Training course last week was an uplifting experience, hanging out with 20 students of all ages, 24 to 64. We were hosted in a 16 yr old co-housing community in Ann Arbor MI. All of us are inspired to do what we can to rectify, mitigate, restore the ecological damage being done to the earth, life support system for all of us. Permaculture is a philosophy, movement and design system for living well within the earth’s means, as tho we intended to stay. See www.permacultureactivist.org for lots of links and info.

Recently viewed some intriguing streaming video on food and health, 12 segments available on dvd for $20. They hit all the biggies, like gmo, soy, raw milk, cholesterol. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjJMMwej40E&feature=youtu.be for previews of each.

And there is this article my friend Nicole Foss reposted on FB: The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)
www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com
To which my local organic small grains farmer friend (who supplies all the grain for my chickens and pigs), replied about wheat: “But we need to add to this the fact that nearly every acre in Ontario has 1 to 2 applications of a fungicide as well (mainly Folicur). One app before heading and one application after heading. Western Canada I am told sprays their wheat on average 6 times per crop. (Round-up pre-plant burnoff, several insecticide passes for grasshoppers, several fungicide passes and then as this article states desiccant.” Makes me really not want to eat wheat anything. At least I can buy organic flour or grain and mill my own.

Yea, healthy eating and aging,
Ian, Camelia and Michael from Hannover BRD

OLd 99 Farm, WEek of Nov 9th 2014


I have 5 lambs in the freezer now, from 20 to 30 lb of meat each. And still lots of ground beef, chicken, and veal.

Check listings for vegetables, leafy greens, root veg and herbs. Still have tomatoes on the vine believe it or not.

Mike Langhens and Camelia will be minding the farm this week; I’m off on a permaculture teachers course in Michigan. Back on Saturday.

Being a local relational eater in a consumerist world takes courage and commitment. A lot of it. We swim against the tide, and the current is strong. The three sirens of consumerism – comfort, control and convenience – are at play in what and how we eat.

Read more at resilience.org.
www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-06/the-local-food-challenge-wind-up

Healthy eating
Ian and Camelia (and Mike from Germany)

Old 99 Farm, week of Nov2 2014


A very busy week here at Old99 this week, so not much time for finding juicy food news on the web.

The bad news is that our last cow to calf, Princess Scruffy, freshened on Friday with a stillborn calf. That’s my first experience and thankfully the vet was able to get here quickly. Scruffy is still running a fever so it’s not over yet.

The good news is there are lots of veggies and eggs, beef, lamb and chicken in the freezer.

We still have tomatoes, eggplants, peppers as well as the root crops like carrots and celeriac.

Hope to see you thurs.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm, week of Oct 6 2014 and Eco-friendly Meat and Dairy: 10 reasons why


It’s tues am, a mild spell, the barnyard cover is almost done, and lambs are going to the butcher today. I’m suffering a recurring low back syndrome that got so bad this week, I’m off to a novel spinal alignment therapist.

This is last week for special on ground beef at $5/lb.

Lots of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers in the greenhouse, and new crop of lettuce greens, carrots, collards, kale, beets.

Lots of eggs.

How would you like to read this and pass it on?

Eco-friendly Meat and Dairy: 10 reasons why

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-buy-organic-dairy-meat.html

Eating fewer animal products is a good choice for the environment. When and if you choose to eat animal products you can make a significant difference for your health and the environment by taking these steps, and here’s why:

Choosing to support farms that caretake the environment and the animals they raise in an ethical manner, is a very positive way to spend your food dollar. Animal agriculture produces surprisingly large amounts of air and water pollution, and causes 80 percent of the world’s annual deforestation. It also requires large amounts of water, and livestock worldwide consumes half the world’s total grain harvest.

By supporting local, sustainable and organic farms in your local community you also support the larger community of which we are all a part. By eating animal products raised on such farms you provide the healthiest choice for your family and support the farms that support healthy and ecological neighborhoods.

1. Free of antibiotics, added hormones, GMO feed and other drugs; no GMO animals

Animals raised organically are not allowed to be fed antibiotics, the bovine human growth hormone (rbGH), or other artificial drugs. Animals are also not allowed to eat genetically modified foods. Further, animal products certified as organic can not have their genes modified (for example, a scorpion gene cannot be spliced into a cow gene).

How: The animals are raised in a healthier environment, fed organic feed, and often eat a wider range of nutrients than those raised in factory farms (such as would be the case of free-range chickens and ranch cattle). The animals are not from a test tube.

Highlights: Organically raised animals have been shown to be significantly healthier than their factory-raised counterparts.

More: Visit the Organic Trade Association Web site for updates on the U.S. federal organic standards.

2. Mad cow safeguard: Animals aren’t forced to be cannibals
The practice of feeding cattle the ground up remains of their same species appears to cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a horrific disease that destroys the central nervous system and brain, can be given to humans who eat the cows. The disease in humans has a very long latency period, and is called Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.

How: Animals are fed 100 percent organic feed without ground up animal parts.

Highlights: By eating 100 percent organic meat you are protected by a label insuring the cow has only been fed 100 percent organic feed.

3. More humane, ethical treatment of animals
Factory farms treat animals like commodities, and they are kept in tightly confined pens and often never move more than a few feet their whole lives.

How: Buy meat and eggs raised from chickens raised outdoors free ranging and grazing.

Highlights: Animals are more likely to be raised without cruelty.

4. Animals free-range and graze
The words “free-range,” and “ranch raised” are clues that the animals were raised in a more humane way. Their diet tends to be more well-rounded; the animals are not confined and spend time outdoors in the fresh air.

How: Free range chickens eat more grubs and bugs than their industrially-raised counterparts; free range animals graze as they are inclined.

Highlights: Humane and ethical treatment of animals; more nutritious food.

5. Manure
Small farms use it, industrial farms pollute with it.

How: On small, diverse farms, manure is used to naturally fertilize soil. Industrial farms produce so much manure, on the other hand, that it is a human health risk. The overspill of manure can contaminate wells with E. coli and other pathogens. In one region of North Carolina, for example, hog farms produce 10 million metric tons of waste annually.

Highlights: Sustainable farms use their manure productively as organic fertilizer. The manure is “pure,” coming from animals fed organic diets.

6. Animals are integral to small farms
Using animal manure is considered recycling of nutrients. No farm can cope with all the animal offspring, so selling some makes economic sense. Sustainable farms tend to provide and sell a range of products, and organic eggs and animal products would be included.

How: Most organic farms have a few cows, chickens, etc.

Highlights: The animals—many of diverse gene pools—serve a purpose besides providing food.

7. Fewer chemicals used
Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not used on the food or land. Residues of persistent chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxin, and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat. Eating organic animal fat reduces your exposure to these chemicals.
Farmers working on organic farms are exposed to fewer chemicals.

How: Organic agriculture works for a healthy balance of the soil, including using crop rotation and other techniques to improve soil fertility, instead of controlling the environment with chemicals. The animals are not fed food containing pesticides, and so the amount of persistent pesticides in their fat is reduced.

Highlights: Safeguards groundwater, farmers’ health, topsoil, habitats, and neighborhood health.

8. Diversity
Industrial farms rely on just a few species of cattle, chickens, pigs, etc., whereas small sustainable farms tend to raise a wider variety of livestock. Entire species of livestock can die out if they are not raised on farms.

How: Support our food supply by buying food representative of a wide gene pool. Every time you even buy a brown instead of a white egg you are helping to support diversity.

Highlights: Support diversity by supporting diversity on your local farms. Buy their milk, eggs, and meat.

9. Factory farms use huge amounts of resources
The factory farm industry is run with cheap, nonrenewable fossil fuel. Producing, transporting, processing, and marketing the food all depend heavily on it. Without cheap fuel, industrial agriculture would be impossible because it would be too expensive, notes organic farming expert Fred Kirschenmann. The heavy pesticide use on industrial farms contaminates groundwater and soil. Kirschenmann believes industrial farms are responsible for the loss of over half of U.S. topsoil.

How: Organic farms uses less energy with careful ecological management, and using natural ecological balances to solve pest problems. Buying animal products from local farms further reduces energy by reducing the amount of miles the food travels to your table.

Highlights: Organic farms use 70 percent less energy than industrial farms, and since they don’t use pesticides they help preserve ground water. The farming techniques of organic farms builds topsoil and doesn’t contribute to its erosion.

10. Your dollars support the farm you buy from
If you buy your meat from an organic farmstand at a farmer’s market you support that farm. On the other hand, if you buy non-organic meat that isn’t local, free-range, or ranch-raised from a supermarket chain, you most likely support a multinational food conglomerate.

How: You can contribute to the well-being of your community by supporting small, local, diverse organic farms.

Highlights: Buying organic animal products is better for your health, your local community, and the larger community as a whole.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-buy-organic-dairy-meat.html#ixzz3GnfYwhjK

Old 99 Farm Week of Oct 19 2014


A drizzly week, but above normal temperatures for this time of year. I’m progressing on the new barnyard cover project which will give much comfort to our cows and make better composted manure since it will keep the rain and snow off.

We have first baby lettuce greens this week. Lots of carrots in the ground, ready to harvest or store. The leeks are ready to harvest, a bumper crop, as are the beets. I have cilantro, great with boiled potatoes.
This year the carrots are more mature since we got them in sooner, meaning likely less ‘baby carrots’ but all still sweet and delicious as the cold weather causes them to convert starches to sugars.
I have grape jelly from a neighbour, grapes grown on their farm, two recipes one with honey.
Solanum potatoes are being dug for storage. These ones grew in the greenhouse all summer along with the squashes and tomatoes. Sweet potatoes are now cured and ready for sale.

Looking for lamb? I’d like to get your orders so I know how many to take to the butcher real soon. And remember I have baby beef, veal grown on pasture, nursed by the mothercow, now in the freezer. Ground beef special will end Thurs Oct 30th; check around it’s a good price for lean pasture raised ground beef.

Ready for another list of reasons to buy local and organic? http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-buy-organic-dairy-meat.html. It’s a great list, that starts off saying we should all eat less meat…

Please hold off on the egg cartons till further notice, I have scads.

Healthy eating
Ian and Camelia
(and Michael from Hannover Germany, our guest for 6 weeks)