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 Apr 28 2013


order at www.old99farm.locallygrown.net

Holy cow almost forgot to send out my tidbits of news and reminders; it’s tuesday already. I’m organizing a daylong intensive workshop this sat May 4 on Breeding, Growing and Selling Heritage Chicken; for the small flock owner. cost is $75, youth under 21 half price. call me if interested for more information.

First gosling hatched this week, and I have 9 chicks in the brooder from last week.

I’m out of honey till the summer and I have one hive hanging on by it’s fingernails, out of 8 that started the winter. Neonicotinoid class of systemic insecticides is most likely cause of acute bee mortality; they coat seed corn and other crops with it, it gets in the air and water and minute quantities are toxic to bees. You should know about this.

The orchard looks like it might produce some fruit this year, first since I planted it in 2009; peaches, plums, apricots, apples. At least there are flower buds on the trees, now there’s lots that can go wrong before a harvest!

Veggies, yes still chard, kale, spinach (hurry, the spinach is bolting) and a few other salad greens. Chives coming up this week or next, rhubarb probably a week after that.

Taking orders for fall beef and summer chickens, ducks, geese.

healthy eating,
Ian

Old 99 Farm, week of Apr 21st 2013


I can watch the spinach growing I swear, this last week. Should have a bit of rhubarb soon too, as I put some plants in the greenhouse.

Daughter Kelly convinced me to list on HElpx.com for willing workers who travel, work in return for lodging. so you can find me at that site, see how we talk about ourselves.

Still no word on the Niagara Escarment Commission approval to rebuild my woodshed; it’s been 12 weeks! Last news, they were waiting for Min Natural Resources to comment. why you might ask? To assess whether there are barnswallows that are nesting and will be disturbed. But the official who receives the files was on bereavement leave for 3 weeks and didn’t tell NEC and now he’s back the barn swallow guy is on paternity leave. So what does a guy like me do!

Veggies: spinach, chard, kale, cilantro, mixed greens, stir fry, claytonia and beet tops. Also have some gal pots of comfrey which I started from rootstock. $4 a pot, great addition to your organic gardens for growing your own plant nutrient and mulch (chop and drop). Read up on comfrey on the web. This is symphytum offinales, the non-spreading variety. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfrey

Old 99 Farm week of April 14, 2013


How many of you had a power failure last week. There were 150 000 customer of Ontario Hydro without power for up to two days, I was out for 26 hours. Long enough to lose the hatching eggs in my incubators, even tho I had the solar PV and batteries that latest 24 hours. Sign of things to come methinks. Get that generator for your sump pump in the basement.

The spinach is looking very good again this week, as is the chard, kale and cilantro. I’m out of carrots, arugula and claytonia.

The egg special cleared the backlog and the hens are laying a bit less, so prices go back to normal this week.

You can order your raspberry canes here, if you have your eye on a little patch at home. I have two junebearing varieties, both tasty red berries.

Are you following the tarsands/XL Pipeline debate? And the reversal of Line 9 to bring tarsands ‘dilbit’ eastward? What if governments decided that most of the tarsands had to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate upset in our lifetime?
See this link: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/14/1696191/martin-luther-kings-advice-to-climate-activists-2/
It matters to billions of people. A moral crisis in the words of MLK: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Writes Joe Romm of ClimateProgress, "many have criticized the demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline, which would open a major spigot to the Canadian tar sands, as unwarranted and untimely — unwarranted given our broad dependence on fossil fuels and untimely because of our struggling economy. We disagree.

We think there has been far too little direct action, given the staggering scale of the threat. As the International Energy Agency has explained, we must leave the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground if we are to preserve a livable climate and avoid levels of warming that “even school children know” will be catastrophic for us all. The tar sands would be near the top of any list of the largest, dirtiest pools of carbon that must be forsaken for the sake of humanity."

Old 99 Farm, Week of Apr 7th 2013


Orders on line at www.old99farm.locallygrown.net. I still need egg cartons and plastic egg crates. Last week I offered eggs buy three, get one free and will continue this week.

I have some raspberry canes for sale since I’m digging up the beds and moving them to make room for the woodshed/cold cellar rebuild. I have two summer-bearing varieties. Boyne produces medium size, tender, juicy dark red berries, aromatic, medium sweet. Excellent for jams. Very productive heavy strong summerbearing canes 5ft tall, easy to pick, adapted for home gardens, Upick (early midseason). Nova produces medium fruit, dark red, with mild flavours, nearly thornless, resistant to most diseases, Bears early in season. Both developed in Canada, Boyne in the 60s and NOve in the 80s. $4/pot.

Greenhouse plants are really liking this weather giving good growth, but alas, the brassica family (kale, mizuna, arugula, etc) are showing flower heads. These are good eating by the way, like loose small broccoli heads. I stir-fry them or steam them.

Remember that news last week about the dilbit (tar sand oil derived) spill in Arkansas? Well Exxon had reported that there was officially no oil in the pipeline when it sprung a leak; that’s because they have to pay 8cents a barrel of crude being transported in pipelines. The money goes to a cleanup superfund in case of large expensive environmental disasters. Well to save their 8 cents Exxon claims dilbit is not technically oil. Go tell that to the 2000 inhabitants of Mayflower AK.

Went to the barn this morning as per usual and voila, the stork delivered a lovely heifer calf to Bella… That’s two on the ground, three more to go.

Newmarket is home to an intrepid investigative journalist Stephen Leahy, who finances his work by public donation. Read this latest post and consider if you can support his efforts to get the real news out. http://stephenleahy.net/2013/04/02/were-all-scared-but-we-must-tell-the-truth-experts-fear-collapse-of-global-civilisation/

Healthy happy eating.
Ian

Old 99 Farm Easter Week Mar 31 2013


Beef roasts and steaks will be offered at 10% discount this week, I have to chuckle, the best cuts are the last to go! Not like theater seats or church!

There was a rush for spinach last week, so not much regrowth yet. Maybe a couple of order only.

Chard, mizuna, arugula, claytonia and mixed greens are available.

Lots of eggs, will offer a special this week: buy three, get one dozen free. Works out to $4.10 and $4.90(XL) a dozen.

Thanks for the recyclables, but no one has any square plastic milk crates kicking around? They make great nest boxes for the chickens.

Well I thought March was the start of spring: but this year climate upset foiled us. See this article with map for why global warming is most likely to blame: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/from-2012-to-2013-march-blows-hot-then-cold-15807

Are you paying attention to the Enbridge dilbit pipeline debate – the local line through Flamborough-Dundas being reversed to carry Alberta’s sinful crude. Read this about a pipeline break in Arkansas on Apr 1st.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/01/1801231/todays-news-oil-spill-in-arkansas-and-tesla-turns-a-profit/
Not a joke: on Friday, an Exxon pipeline carrying crude oil from the tar sands region of Alberta leaked about 10,000 barrels of corroding, low-quality crude oil into an Arkansas town — Exxon cleanup crews are trying to keep the oil from reaching Lake Conway, a popular game-fishing spot, through storm drains. Exxon Mobil said that fumes from the oil spill posed a risk in “high pooling areas,” where oil could be seen on the ground and where crews were working with safety equipment. …

The Arkansas incident also comes just a few days after a Canadian Pacific Railroad train carrying oil sands crude — a mixture of heavy bitumen and lighter dilutents — from Alberta to Chicago derailed near Parkers Prairie, Minn., spilling about 357 barrels. The full story is carried in the Washington Post complete with pictures of the 22 homes that had to be evacuated. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/exxon-mobil-pipeline-leaks-a-few-thousand-barrels-of-crude-oil-in-arkansas/2013/03/31/6868d6f6-9a2e-11e2-a941-a19bce7af755_story.html Ever seen a backyard flooded with oil?

Also advance notice on upcoming events of interest to locavores:
April 6th, Small Animal Auction, Rockton Fairgrounds 10am to noon. Great outing for kids and adults alike. See lots of critters, maybe come home with a chicken?!
May 4th; Intensive workshop on Raising Heritage Poultry, Rockton Fairgrounds. $50 for the day. Covering breeding, housing, feeding, health and processing.
Cheque to Flamborough Fur and Feather Fanciers, c/o Old 99 Farm, 1580 Old Hwy 99 Dundas L9H 5E3
June 22, Strawberry Solstice Old 99 Farm. Potluck Social for Locallygrown and cowshare members.

Old 99 Farm, Week of Mar 24th 2013


Vegetables are growing fast in this warm weather. Have some new spinach this week as well as the regulars.

I have organic roasting chickens, about 5lb weights. Place your order with the www.old99farm.locallygrown.net website.

I have had no inquiries about buying kitchen gear, like mincers, grinders, utensils. the www.norpro.com website has lots to look at, but prices aren’t on line; you have to go to a retail site or even ebay to find.

Can you help me with some recyclables? I need plastic milk crates, grocery bags, and as always, egg cartons.

In a couple of weeks to a month, I’ll be taking down the woodshed beside the barn and replacing it with a new building for housing the freezers and sale of produce. I am asking for help in removing the contents to store elsewhere on the farm before demolition. This could take a day if there are enough hands. Please let me know if you could offer a couple hours.

Also advance notice on some dates
April 6th, Small Animal Auction, Rockton Fairgrounds 10am to noon. Great outing for kids and adults alike. See lots of critters, maybe come home with a chicken?!
May 4th; Intensive workshop on Raising Heritage Poultry, Rockton Fairgrounds. $50 for the day. Covering breeding, housing, feeding, health and processing.
Cheque to Flamborough Fur and Feather Fanciers, c/o Old 99 Farm, 1580 Old Hwy 99 Dundas L9H 5E3
June 22, Strawberry Solstice Old 99 Farm. Potluck Social for Locallygrown and cowshare members.

PS. Lambing finished today Tues with triplets. Total 23 lambs from 10 ewes, 15 survivors. It’s been quite a time since Mar 11.

Old 99 Farm, Week of Mar 17 2013


When I looked at the two week trend a week ago, we were expecting above average highs and lows. But it’s been the opposite and still is looking that way. My notes from prior years show I was expecting fruit tree bloom this week some years. Not this one.

But this has been the week for new life: 5 sets of twin lambs and one calf. I’m learning the lambing business fast! So far have one in the bathroom nursing from a bottle.

Vegetables, much easier to keep track of than lambs. Have some new spinach this week as well as the regulars.

I have organic roasting chickens, about 5lb weights. Place your order with the www.old99farm.locallygrown.net website.

I have had no inquiries about buying kitchen gear, like mincers, grinders, utensils. the www.norpro.com website has lots to look at, but prices aren’t on line; you have to go to a retail site or even ebay to find.

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar10 2013


More greens this week. Regrowth kale and mizuna, chard.
Eggs still priced at a dollar off, that’s $4.50 for large, $5.50 for ex large.
Had the first lambs arrive, three so far but twins died at birth. I found it hard to take.

Read The Insatiable Bark Beetle by Reese Halter, if you’ve ever wondered about the impact of climate chaos on the natural world that sustains us. I just finished it; had me weeping and chuckling by turns.

Anyone check that website for kitchen utensils I posted last week? Thanks to a member, we can buy neat helpful stuff for food prep wholesale.

eat well,
Ian

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar 3rd, 2013


I’m adding a few greens back on the list, chard, onions, kale, in addition to the mizuna.

Lots of goose eggs, try a few, priced to be the same as chicken eggs per gram. I’m offering a dollar off the regular price for chicken eggs this week.

A regular member has offered to make available Norpro kitchen utensils at wholesale prices. You can go to the website, browse the categories, (lots) and prepare a list. In a couple of weeks we’ll see how large the order is, combined. Here’s the page for the meat grinder/pasta maker: http://www.norpro.com/store/products/grindermincerpasta-maker-includes-sausage-funnel-attachment

Did you read the excerpts on climate upset last week? Are you a climate denier or a climate “hawk”? In either case you might like to try this on for size: what stage, of the classic stages of grief model, are you at? What have you come through? What’s next?
The five stages of grief describes “a process by which people allegedly deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or catastrophic loss.” As Wikipedia puts it:

1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance

The great New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert perhaps best summed up this form of denial. Her three-part series, “The Climate of Man,” which became the terrific book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, famously ends:

It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.

Read more at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/01/1644511/for-climate-hawks-the-five-stages-of-grief-are-reversed/

Old 99 Farm, Week of Feb 24 2013


It’s going to be mostly a crib this week from the worlds most favoured environmental website. About? Yes about you and what you think about Climate Chaos. How is that related to food you ask, and especially in Canada? (clues: tarsands, water, global supply chain)

But before I line in a few juicy quotes, the link for food this week is the same as last: www.old99farm.locallygrown.net. (Special on eggs is over but we still have eggs!)

“You’d think it would be pretty obvious that the public is not going to be concerned about an issue unless one explains why they should be concerned about an issue. And the social science literature, including the vast literature on advertising and marketing, could not be clearer that only repeated messages have any chance of sinking in and moving the needle,…”

“The two greatest myths about global warming communications are 1) constant repetition of doomsday messages has been a major, ongoing strategy and 2) that strategy doesn’t work and indeed is actually counterproductive!”

“The stunning increase in extreme weather events — 25 disasters exceeding a billion dollars in the past two years — which had long been predicted by climate scientists, has not gone unnoticed by the public”: (see graphs on website: a majority think carbon based climate change made the storms worse).

“If you want to find anything approximating even modest, blunt, science-based messaging built around the scientific literature, interviews with actual climate scientists and a clear statement that we can solve this problem — well, you’ve all found it, of course, but the only people who see it are those who go looking for it.”

“Of course, this blog is not even aimed at the general public. Probably 99% of Americans haven’t even seen one of my headlines and 99.7% haven’t read one of my climate science posts. And Climate Progress is probably the most widely read, quoted, reposted, liked and retweeted, climate science blog in the world.”

Where is that?
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/24/1631171/apocalypse-oscars-media-myth-constant-repetition-doomsday-messages-climate/