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 July 26 2015

First, no fruit from Palatine because only had 7 boxes committed from y’all, and I need 10 minimum. Lets try again next week.

Tomatoes are ripening in the greenhouse, the plum variety and new spinach is available. Summer squash joins zucchini in the curcurbit family of offerings.

As of July 26th, we can offer 46 items including the following crops: zucchini, plum tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, basil, napa and early white cabbage, arugula (rocket), kale, three varieties of chard, cabbage leaves, collards, and beetgreens, peppers, eggplant, summer squash. There are lots of eggs but they’re selling as fast as I can make ’em.

Almost 700 000 viewers on youtube have wondered what environmental devastation actually looks like. Do you? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.
Go here!

What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat. Go here to view his ted talk.

Healthy happy eating,
Ian and Cami

the missing map

Old 99 Farm week of July 19 2015

Enjoying the weather? when you look at the continental maps for temperature anomalies we are the sweet spot around the great lakes, very little deviation from ‘normal’. See that white zone? But overall, it’s a scorcher and on track to be the hottest year on record: here’s the link to the full story.
Here’s a map showing what I mean.

The lettuce is feeling the heat, starting to bolt, but the sweet potato plants are loving it. Lots of zucchini, beans are in flower, and raspberries! I have yet to see such a crop. I’ll have prepicked and U-pick open this week.

There are pasture raised roasting chickens in the freezer, whole, halfs or quarters.

Palatine Fruit next week. Place your order: I have so far a box of cherries for Joe, Irene, Lenore and Norma. Tell me if I missed you or you decline.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Raspberry U-PICK

The crop is gorgeous and at its peak now. These are organic berries, not sprayed. I’m encouraging u-pickers to come while it’s prime time.

I don’t know the roadside stand prices but Lindley’s Upick is $5/quart,
Jerry’s is $3/pint, get 7th pint free.
Jordash Gardens is $5/pint (location?)
and Hamilton Berries in Brantford hasn’t called me back.
None of these are organic.

I’m offering organic upick for $1.50 per 100 grams (HUH? that’s $4.50 per pint or $9/qt since a pint weights 300gm) That’s 3 dollars less per pint than on opening weekend last.

quarts are bigger than liters, 1 qt = 2 pints = 1.14L, if you recall. Figure how much jam and frozen berries you want to put by for winter and come on over.

I have boxes and containers here. Come soon for best picking.

Old 99 Farm. week of July 12, 2015

Blueberry u-pick across the road opened up this weekend, inspiring me to hustle on saturday and offer the same for raspberries, currants and vegetables. We had a few eager pickers and will continue this weekend. You too may wish to try u-pick, especially if you want to freeze some chard for the winter.

A couple of new entries this week: beet tops, summer squash and the napa cabbage is joined by an early white cabbage, the Tiara.

Eggs prices are going to increase this week but I will be offering different sized dozens: medium, large, extra large, maybe even a few jumbos. This is not because my feed costs have gone up but the average egg size has gone down, due to the new younger flock. So my average price has gone down while my costs stay the same, comprends?

I got an email today from Palatine Fruit saying they could deliver cherries this wednesday. But that’s too short notice. Let me know if you want cherries next week at $55/20 lb box.

The season of bounty is upon us!

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of July 5 2015

New additions: raspberries and black currants, picked and upick, also Napa Cabbage and sugar snap peas, zuchinis.
That is in addition to the kale, collards, chard, lettuces, parsley, herbs, eggs, meats (hey chicken is in).

See you on thursday!

Climate March Toronto July 5

14 seats remaining on bus chartered by and Environment Hamilton to get you to the march in Queens Park Toronto next sunday.

Would be great to have you on the bus!
Your kids will thank you some day.

Old 99 Farm, week of June 28th 2015

Some how I got distracted from the computer and did not send out what I composed on Sunday evening. Sorry to all. Now it’s canada day and we’re all celebrating. I’m celebrating at least, it’s a great privilege to be Canadian, to live here in Ontario, to have a civil society and natural abundance. And I’m celebrating that the raspberries are now ripening to harvest. U-pick will be possible this week.

Says Albert Bates in his post today on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si:
“If we are honest and admit climate change threatens the survival of our species, right now and not next decade or next century, and don’t just turn away or accept the numbing banality that comes with avoidance of the subject, we would have to, to not be hypocritical, actually choose to do something about what we know we know."

“But do what, exactly? Our institutions are not working. Any real change has to come from our personal footprint, changing our choices. Change is our only way of being truthful with ourselves, and not neurotic or schizophrenic. "

It is a thoughtful essay, calling out the Pope on some points, supporting him on others. Read more at

We have had 75ml of rain according to my rain gauge on the fencepost. That in two days. Not a record or a disaster but worth a reminder that Mother Nature bats last…

This week we can offer lots of lettuce and greens: romaine, butter (bib) lettuce, collards, kale, three varieties of swiss chard. There are strawberries, rhubarb, eggs, and roasting chickens. This week I take the birds to the processor and will have them here on Thursday for all advance orders to pick up. That’s over 100 chickens!

Anyone going to join me and Cami in the Climate march in Toronto on Sunday July 5th? Environment HAmilton has chartered a bus and you can get on it. leaves at 11am Sunday.

Healthy Eating,
Ian and Cami

OLd 99 Farm, week of June 21 2015

I gotta say, this is worth leading off wtih. Talk about one guy having a ‘noble goal’ and making it happen; learn about Cary Fowler…

First the UK paper of record, the Guardian, gives a current update on the Seed vault at Svelbard, Norway.

Some people are getting ready for monoculture food crop disasters… the story of the guy who got the seedvault project started is now a film. Trailer here

Crop diversity pioneer Cary Fowler travels the world, educating the public about the dire consequences of our inaction. Along with his team at The Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, Cary struggles to re-invent a global food system so that it can,in his words: “last forever.” Cary aims to safeguard the last place that much of our diversity is left in tact: in the world’s vulnerable gene banks. Here is his 2009 TED talk

The film will be available for sale in the fall, only showing advance screenings in the US now.

And of more local interest, we have strawberries! Tho limited supply. Asparagus season is over till next year.
New lettuces in the garden Romaine and Butter, winter sown crops were much appreciated by you and the cows, who got into the greenhouse last week, thanks to yours truly leaving the back door open.

We had a delightful Strawberry Solstice on Sunday. Next year I will avoid scheduling conflict with Fathers Day! We did a leisurely wagon ride through the pastures, and got close up to the Lineback calf, born two days earlier.

Palatine Fruit and Roses first delivery run is approaching. I don’t have enough expressions of interest yet to convince them to make Old 99 a stop on their way to Brantford. Speak up if you want unsprayed, tree ripened fruit by emailing me. The schedule look like this
July 5. to 15. early cherries
July 15. to July 30 – late cherries, apricot, early golden plums, early peaches
Aug. 12 to Aug 20 – free stone peaches, red plums, maybe apricot
Labour day – free stone peaches, nectarines, Bartlett pears, blue plums, table grapes
September 10 – Sept. 20 – Bosc pears, table grapes, grape juice

Old 99 Farm, week of June 14 2015

The outdoor garden plantings of chard and kale are now harvestable, the early succulent leaves are delightful. We picked several liters of strawberries so I’ll have some this week. See attached list for full offering this week.

This sunday June 21, is our annual Strawberry solstice, 2pm families invited. For the potluck portion, please bring as follows:
If you last name starts with letter in first half of alphabet (up to M), please bring 2 quarts strawberries. If your in the last half, please bring refreshments for 4 to 6 people. I’m sure we’ll have enough. We will supply the cream and some fresh berries too. I will need an RSVP by email or phone with numbers coming. Pls bring a lawn chair and table setting for your family. We’ll have a haywagon ride, might see a newborn calf and of course lots of sheep and chickens.

Have you been following the Avian Flu debacle in the US? Its’ here too but very much under control so far, stateside already 40million chickens killed to try and eradicate the virus. Egg prices are going up sharply. Get our turkey orders in early this year; they are hit too.

A bit on rhubarb. Rhubarb has many uses. The most common is medicinal. Rhubarb has been used in medicines and folk healing for centuries.
Then there is cleaning pots and pans

Use Rhubarb to clean your pots and pans (no joke!) If your pots and pans are burnt, fear not! An application of rhubarb over the afflicted area will bring back the shine in next to no time. Environmentally friendly too!

Hair Color

This is a fairly strong dye that can create a more golden hair color for persons whose hair is blond or light brown. Simmer 3 tbsp. of rhubarb root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, set aside overnight, and strain. Test on a few strands to determine the effect, then pour through the hair for a rinse.


Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective organic insecticide for any of the leaf eating insects (cabbage caterpillars, aphids, peach and cherry slug etc).
Recipe 1

Basically you boil up a few pounds of rhubarb leaves in a few pints of water for about 15 or 20 minutes, allow to cool, then strain the liquid into a suitable container. Dissolve some soap flakes in this liquid and use it to spray against aphids.

So, next time you pick some rhubarb stems to eat, you can put the leaves to good use rather than just composting them (which isn’t in itself such a bad use, I guess).

For your home remedy cabinet:
answer: dried red pepper powder.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami