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 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

Old 99 Farm, week of June 26 2016

This weekend is Canada Day celebrations; in order to keep things simple, there is no change to market day: place your orders by Friday noon, pick up friday 4 to 6 or by arrangement. I remind that if you order and forgot to come, you still made a purchase.

New crops are coming in: green garlic, chard, kale, beet tops, parsley. Asparagus is over for the season, but I saw the first raspberries ripening today. Some tomatoes are ready.

As of June 26th , we can offer the following crops: young chard, beet tops, green garlic (can cook like leek), rhubarb, kale, collards, arugula, chives, and herbs: dill, sweet cicely, bronze fennel and lovage. Fresh bone broth this week, frozen in 1 L pouches. There are frozen quiches in the freezer.

See you Friday,
Healthy local inseason eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of June 19 2016

We’ll be taking orders up to Friday 9am for pickup Friday 4 to6 or as arranged.
I go to the hospital Monday morning, June 20 for day surgery on my vocal cords. Dear Cami is standing by for most of the week because I’ll be restricted from speaking at all for three days then very limited use of voice for the next two weeks. Sign language and whistles for me!

New produce this week: chard, beet tops, kale, collards, eggplant, some cherry tomatoes, parsley, plus asparagus, eggs, rhubarb, chives, green garlic and sorrel.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of June 12 2016

June 2016: Note change of date to Friday 4pm to 6pm from Thurs for weekly pickup. Or by special arrangement or ‘catch me in’. I offer picked produce on pre-order basis, picked Friday am.

Would you support a handgun ban in Canada? Go to bottom of page to participate in the survey.

We have new crop beet greens, chard, collards, kale, parsley, eggplant and green garlic. Lettuces almost finished, as are chards.

Eggs are going back up a buck a dozen to $5 for XL, $5.75 for Jumbo. Still a bargain and you’re helping me farm ethically and sustainably here in the Dundas valley.

Oh my how I got a boost this week from Albert Bates’ blog The Great Challenge about the ‘marshmellow test’, delayed gratification, trust and climate disruption, called Hot Brain Cool Brain.
Walter Mischel’s psychology experiment at Stanford in the 1960s took youngsters age 4 to 6, put them in a room one-by-one, gave them a choice of a cookie, mint, pretzel, or marshmallow and the following deal: they could eat the treat right away, or wait 15 minutes until the experimenter returned. If they waited, they would get an extra treat. Many lifestyle successes correlate with ability to delay gratification, which the researchers discovered by following these subjects through their lifetimes.

There is also an existing body of evidence that tells us that humans are predisposed to disbelieve scientific facts, or even their own experiences, if they conflict with strongly held beliefs. This is likely the phenomenon most responsible for our failure not merely to make the cultural changes required of us to avert climate Armageddon and Near Term Human Extinction – even simple lifestyle changes like eating lower on the food chain, cutting discretionary travel, living in a smaller house and having no more than one child – but our failure to even acknowledge, as individuals or collectively, that we have a problem. We have chosen instead, to believe an unreliable worldview. The students who showed low trust of adults, came from unreliable households, usually took the treat immediately: no delay.

So the kicker for me is that there likely is a self-reinforcing feedback loop going on with climate news. The more risky and unreliable the future climate gets, the more we react with hot brain thinking (which favours immediate responses, ie ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’). This relates to climate disruption because our collective choices for immediate gratification, eg trip to Florida, big car, alway on AC, imported fruits and veg, etc. are reducing our chances of handing on a liveable climate for our kids. Cool Brain thinking could neutralize strongly held beliefs (eg the that my choices don’t matter, that it’s too late anyway, that the leaders are all crooks, etc.) and cause us to opt for different lifestyle choices.

I think that’s very hopeful insight about human nature and our present condition at the end of the industrial age with Nature bleeding at the jugular.

For me the cool brain thinking identifies the present day, beta tested tools to reduce ACD. My list, which I’ve been adding to since 2005:

  • permaculture
  • internet
  • Transition Town movement
  • Relocalisation movement
  • biochar as soil carbon sequestration
  • Intermediate Technology movement
  • social marketing
  • wikileaks
  • natural capitalism
  • organic farming
  • restorative agriculture, carbon farming
  • Holistic Management system

The list is growing. What are your grounds for hope in a viable future?

Have a great week, check out the Mischel talk on the marshmellow test and enjoy local sunshine!

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Late Notice Market moved to Fridays

I’ll contact the customers who ordered for tomorrow directly if possible because I have to shift the market date to Friday this week for personal reasons.

Plus that gives me the extra shove to move the market to Fridays for the rest of the summer. Same time 4 to 6pm or by arrangement.

I like to pick all produce fresh the same day and refrigerate so you can come sat/sun/mon to pick up too if you’ve ordered by Thurs pm.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami