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 Sept 27, 2015

Lamb is in stock, roasts and chops, ground and soup bones. Also mutton stew/kabobs and ground.

As of Sept 27th, we can offer 48 items including the following crops: cherry tomatoes(red, yellow and orange), cilantro, parsley, basil, napa and early white cabbage, arugula (rocket), kale, three varieties of chard, red cabbage, collards, and beets, peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash.

This saturday is our cider making party, weather permitting. We’ll harvest apples, and cut and mash them as we chat and socialize. Kid friendly. 2 to 4pm, RSVP if coming. Bring a jug to take home your juice and your own apples if you prefer.

Have you been keeping up on your climate news?
Joe Romm at Climate Progress makes it quite easy for us, as in this article about the national carbon emissions pledges countries are making. "The point is that a successful outcome of Paris will not “solve the climate problem” and indeed won’t give us a 2°C world, as anyone who is paying attention understands. (Sadly, a lot of folks in the media aren’t paying attention.)

The bad news, of course, is that since about 2007 leading climate experts have been explaining we only have five to 10 years to act. I debunked the myth that they’ve “always” been saying that in my May post, “The Really Awful Truth About Climate Change.”

So what Paris can accomplish is to give us another five to 10 years of … having five to 10 years to act!!! Woo-hoo."

You can see on this graph that the INDC line tracks the 2degC line for the next few years.

old 99 Farm, week of Sept 20,2015

Apple season is upon us and this year again, after a 2 yr hiatus, we’ll be offering a cidermaking participatory event. The date is saturday Oct 3rd, 1pm to 5pm approx. We have the equipment and apples, but you can bring your own too. masher and press requires quite a bit of hand work to wash and cut the whole apples. There’s lots for people to do, including kids. Please RSVP if you intend to come. Bring clean jugs for your cider. No cost for the apples.

Eggs are getting sparse due to the shortening days and will remain so till I add some new hens.

Root vegetables are coming into their season, as are squashes. You may consider putting some in your basement or coldcellar to get started on the lifestyle of becoming more food self-sufficient.

I have six turkeys, raised from eggs from my Bronze Breasted/Wild Bronze hen. They are 90 days old and will be ready for Christmas dinner for some lucky families. Let me know it that includes you!

Fresh roasting chickens are here now, not yet frozen. I have 20 of them, some cut as halves, whole weights are 6 to 8 lbs. Same price as last year. The next batch, ready in about a month will cost a dollar more a pound. They are Bonnie’s Big Reds, a slower growing (and therefore more flavourful they say) foraging meat chicken. I’ll keep them 16 weeks instead of 10 and have $5 more feed in them. I think you chicken connaiseurs will like them.

Cami is doing quiche, stuffed peppers and cabbage rolls but you have to order early.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of Sept 12 2015

We’ve started planting the winter crops in the greenhouse, the same weekend as we are canning tomatoes as juice and sauce. There should be vine ripened tomatoes here till December though.

The bumper crop this year, after tomatoes, has to be spaghetti squash. We just harvested 8 bushels and there’s still more out there on Berry Hill. They are storable till midwinter in a 50 to 60 deg 60% to 70% humidity room, according to the Bubels, authors of The Root Cellar.
Spaghetti squash is a healthy alternative to pasta to go under your fav tomato sauce.

See the attached list for our offerings.

Apples are ripening in the 100 yr old orchard but not quite ready. We’ll do our cider pressing day on an early October weekend. Stay tuned. All friends come and help mash and press apples for fresh juice to take home.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami
PS I have a personal facebook page you might enjoy

Old 99 farm, week of Sept 6 2015

Reminder notice only, no tidbits from the web this week.

As of Sept 6th, we can offer 48 items including the following crops: cherry tomatoes(red, yellow and orange), cilantro, basil, napa and early white cabbage, arugula (rocket), kale, three varieties of chard, red cabbage, collards, and beets, peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash. There are lots of eggs.

Lambs will be going to the butcher next week so I expect will have yours for pick up thurs next.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami
PS Cami is back to teaching middle school in Mississauga as of today!!

Harperman going viral

avaaz is doing a campaign to get the cdn federal scientist who wrote a protest song about Stephen Harper reinstated… he lost his job because he wrote and performed this song…

Here’s what avaaz has to say.

Dear friends,

Tony Turner wrote a political protest song about Stephen Harper – and now he’s been put on leave and is being investigated by the government!

They want to silence free speech and stop the song, “Harperman”, from reaching a bigger audience…but it’s about to backfire big time. Because if everyone receiving this email watches the video at the link below, it will be seen by 3% of Canada – if we all share it with just one other person, 6% of Canada, and so on.

Let’s make this viral and timely video a political nightmare for a government try! ing to silence critics. Click now and help make this huge by signing a petition demanding Tony be reinstated immediately – then watch the video and help “Harperman” take-off across the country by sharing on Facebook, and everywhere else:

Tony Turner is a popular folk singer, and also a scientist at Environment Canada. When a recording of his “Harperman” political protest song — calling on the country to get rid of the Harper government – was posted on Youtube, he was suspended and put under investigation.

Environment Canada says that all employees agree to comply with a value and ethics code that lays out expected behaviour – but the Supreme Court has said that public service workers have a right to free expression — just like the rest of us.

Our government has consistently muzzled scientists and public servants whose opinions or research could threaten their policies. And we’ve seen how it views protest, passing Bill C-51 that labels environmental activists as “security threats”.

Fortunately, they can’t silence the internet. Click now to stand with Tony and watch the video – then share it around the country:

It’s our right to protest, and we shouldn’t be punished for it. Let’s turn this story and “Harperman” into a political nightmare as election season comes into full swing.

old 99 farm. week of Aug 30, 2015

Are plants intelligent? So asks Albert Bates, currently in Iceland teaching a permaculture course.
“Plants communicate — they are actually quite loquacious communicators. They are able to distinguish kin and non-kin. They communicate with plants of their own and other species and they communicate with animals and humans.

We are here in Iceland teaching a permaculture course with Robyn Francis and she likes to say plants are just upside-down humans. We have our senses up at the top — in our mouths, noses, ears and fingertips. Plants keep those mostly down in their roots but they also smell and taste and touch like we do. We keep our sex organs hidden down in our bottoms, but plants put them up on full display at the top.

But can a plant be intelligent? Some plant scientists, like Stefano Mancuso, think they are — since they can discover, learn, remember, and even react in ways we would call intelligent."

Check out this TED talk about quantum biology: using quantum physics to fathom how birds migrate using the earth’s magnetic field, etc.

Oh yes we do have more mundane things to mention this week! tomatoes, squashes, potatoes etc. As of Aug 30th, we can offer 48 items including the following crops: zucchini, plum tomatoes, cilantro, basil, napa and early white cabbage, arugula (rocket), kale, three varieties of chard, red cabbage, collards, and beetgreens, peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash. There are lots of eggs. So please surf on over to the locallygrown site and see what you’d like to eat.

Healthy eating to you all,
ian and Cami

Old 99 farm week of Aug 23 2015

As of Aug 23rd, we can offer 48 items including the following crops: zucchini, plum tomatoes, cilantro, basil, napa and early white cabbage, arugula (rocket), kale, three varieties of chard, red cabbage, collards, and beetgreens, peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash.

Another week upon us and soon market day. We dug potatoes and harvested onions, pruned the raspberry canes and seeded some flats for fall and winter crops.

The spaghetti squash is going to be bountiful this year, already enough ripe fruits to offer for sale. This is the item you can use to substitute for durum wheat pasta, if you are trying to reduce your wheat and high glycemic index foods.

Eggs are plentiful so please consider introducing a neighbour to pastured organic eggs from here.

If you want quiches, cabbage rolls, or sauerkraut, pls place order early in the week.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Living on the edge of the Age of Limits

My acquaintance with Nicole Foss started on the internet and became a personal one through several phonecalls and two visits for public lectures here in Copetown.

Her blog is mostly written by a colleague, as she travels, an itinerant freethinking social visionary and prophetic voice, in my personal view. Her recent speaking tours have been in Australia and Europe so when a new essay by Nicole appeared on “The Automatic Earth” I jumped to catch up on her thinking.

Here are a couple of long quotes from part five of the essay, which is linked at the top of this post.

“We are heading for a profoundly humbling experience, to put it mildly. Technological man is not the demigod he supposed himself to be, but merely the beneficiary of a fortuitous energy bonanza which temporarily allowed him to turn dreams into reality. We would do well, if we could summon up sufficient humility in advance, to learn from the simple and elegant technologies of the distant past, which we have largely discarded or forgotten.”


“Cohesive communities will act together in times of crisis, and will be able to offer significant support to each other. The path dependency aspect is important – the state we find ourselves in when crisis hits will be an major determinant of how it plays out in a given area. Anything people come together to do will build social capital and relationships of trust, which are the foundation of society. Community gardens, perma-blitzes (permaculture garden make-overs), maker-spaces, time-banks, savings pools, local currency initiatives, community hub developments, skills training programmes, asset mapping and contingency planning are but a few of the possibilities for bringing people together.”

If this has caught your attention, perhaps you will snuggle up to the internet screen and have a read.

May we all live well within the earth’s means.


Old 99 Farm Week of Aug 15 2015

Did you notice that post on friday that we are now in ecological ‘overshoot’ as a planet, as of Aug 13? Means even the renewable resources we consume from here to the end of the year, cannot be replaced/renewed in an annual cycle. Worth pondering…

Fewer items each week passing as the seasonal items get sold out, and we’re waiting for the next harvest. But fun to say, today I picked the crop of peaches from our orchard, organic, mostly untended fruit trees. One whole 10 kg basket! Needless to say you will not be seeing these in the store! Unless you ask me very nicely …

Special is now over for lamb, but I am taking several animals to butcher at the end of the month. I have a sad story to relate on that; I found that the sheep have a high parasite load from not being rotated often enough around my paddocks and I lost two to anemia. The rest had to be treated with antibiotics so they are no longer organic. But you decide if that’s a deal breaker: they have had great pasture, no drugs, a good life.

Did you ever see the BBC series on This Living Earth with David Attenborough? I just found his two documentaries on The Truth about Climate Change, one from 2006 and one from 2013. They’re on youtube.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Aug 13 Earth Overshoot Day

In 2015, 13 August is Earth Overshoot Day. The day marks the estimated calendar date when humanity’s demand on the planet’s ecological services (which produce renewable resources and assimilate wastes) outstrips what the Earth can supply. This means that for the rest of the year, we are taking more than is regenerated, operating in Overshoot. Last year, Earth Overshoot Day was August 19th. We first went into Overshoot in the late 1970s, and since then the day has crept ever earlier on the calendar. This means we are using the ecological resources of just over 1.5 Earths.

Meeting the challenge of providing for all humanity’s needs within the limits of what our Earth can provide will require a radical restructuring of the global economy. In this post I will discuss how a post-growth economy based around not-for-profit enterprise can help us get to One Planet Living.