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 Oct 13 2013

I hope you made it to the Rockton Worlds Fair this past weekend, a great country tradition and fun for the whole family. I help out in the poultry pavillion where we had almost 500 birds (chickens, pigeons, waterfowl, turkeys, guineas) and rabbits exhibited.

Thanksgiving was wonderful weatherwise and we here at Old 99 had the experience of butchering one of our turkeys and roasting it, all home done. very yummy.

Quick reminder for ordering veg, meat, apples and eggs. lots in stock.

healthy eating,
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm Week of Sept 29 2013

The new laying flock is now here and producing about 5 doz a day of medium sized eggs. So I’ll weigh the dozens and price mediums at $4.75 vs large at $5.50; as they mature the eggs will get larger.

I have Lamb and oven ready roasting chickens in the freezer as well as stewing hens. Beef is at the butcher and will be available here next thursday.

We had a powerful presentation by Nicole Foss on Local Food Challenges yesterday. Ten people attended plus Camelia and myself. I’ll post a fuller summary later, but here is the cherry-picked list of ‘to-dos’ in response to the question, “My generation is going to inherit the health, environmental, and social consequences of our current food system. What advice would you give to young people with respect to this?”.

  • stay out of debt including student loans
  • pool wealth across generations so the younger have access to capital and the older have old age security
  • rethink renewable energy so that it is very local, sufficient for your needs, not an investment (eg Microfit)
  • keep the energy input of your food low, eg locally grown, in season, not processed much, store in low energy ways
  • save seeds and plant lots of varieties
  • avoid GMO foods; for us canucks that means avoid corn and soy ingredients in anything since the GMO is not labelled
  • eat little carbohydrates (starches, grain, fruits), low processed foods, high animal fat for energy
  • eat plant foods for micronutrients and fiber, grown in fertile soil
  • eat pastured meat and eggs, avoid industrially produced foods, esp if imported
  • eat fermented foods
  • learn to grow, store, ferment, prepare foods as a lifeskill.

Mild tender leaf lettuce (Salat, a german variety brought to Canada 40 years ago by a neighour friend, saved seed till now) is now available as is Rapini and arugula. Lots of potatoes, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes and ground cherries.

Weblog Entry

First announcing special roundtable discussion with Nicole Foss, back from her long Australia/NZ tour. Topic I’ve asked her to speak on is Local Food Challenges: Nutrition, Policy, Personal Choices. My daughter Kelly, 24, wanted to ask Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemna etc.) this question, “My generation is going to inherit the health, environmental, and social consequences of our current food system. What advice would you give to young people with respect to this?” So I’ve asked Nicole to tackle it. Visual support with powerpoint, setting the context with events like the Detroit bankruptcy, energy prices, and climate extremes. What it boils down to is what do we do for our families to stay healthy and live well within the earth’s means. Come and listen, discuss.1pm to 4pm Sunday Sept 29. Bring a chair. $20 donation suggested. RSVP please.

The season of meat harvest is upon us. Roasting chickens (White Rocks) will be ready this thursday, 10 people have ordered 70 birds which will be filled first, the balance being available on first come basis. The birds had a lovely life on the pasture, very active foragers and evidently feeling safe and free to roam quite far from the shelter.

Lambs are now also in the freezer, some for advance order, and lots for sale on per cut or whole (cut and wrapped of course).

New crop of potatoes in storage now. Irish Cobbler and Redskin.

Specialty tomatoes will continue for a while: cherry, roma and beefsteak. Try our eggplant, at least in an omelette.

Young rapini and arugula is available from the greenhouse.

We made our first fresh apple cider last week, which is for sale. Camelia made some delicious tomato sauce too, which she is offering for sale.

Yea, healthy eating!
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm Week of Sept 15 2013

I think we had a touch of frost last nite (Monday), at least in the low areas. Very pleasant these mornings getting up to feed the animals with mist rising on the pond and the sun breaking through.

Vegetables still holding up, and some fruit like pears. We had a lovely meal of mutton stew with eggplant this week, so I commend it to you. Try some eggplant.

Speaking of eggs, still short supply till I get my new flock of layers in next week and settled.

Very few people ordered fruit, so likely next year will pass on the contact info and those interested in sustainably grown stone fruit etc, can take advantage.

Still have some roma tomatoes for canning and lovely beefsteak type for slicing or drying.

The new woodshed is now closed in, looks quite handsome too.

I’m enjoying the bees, bringing in this seasons’s honey crop. We’re using honey instead of sugar in our canning of fruit and jelly.

Nicole Foss, noted speaker and ‘sense-maker’ of the times we live in, will be here at Old 99 Farm, Sunday Sept 29. We will offer a ‘kitchen table’ discussion of her updated insights on energy, climate and finance as these affect us in our daily lives. What young people, recent grads etc., should consider in their lifestyle and work choices will be prominent content. If you interested in attending, (limited space) please RSVP to this address. Suggested donation $20 for Nicole’s honorarium.

Healthy eating
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm Week of Sept 8 2013

Monday and 21dC, a lovely day. Going to get to 32 tomorrow and below 10 by weekend.

Lots of vegetables. Have you had your kale today?

These ducklings take to water with no hesitation, as I found when I put a wading pool with ramp in their area.

I want to show everyone how the roasting chickens, White Rocks, are liking their freedom on pasture in the new moveable sled shelter.

This is a snap of the lovely kebabs we bbq’d recently, made all from O 99 produce: eggplants, peppers, onions and lamb.

Thoughts for the week, this time from Howard Kunstler, reposted at

Ours has been an age of producing ersatz substitutes for just about everything. We call the housing subdivisions slapped up by the production builders “communities” when they are just cartoon simulacrums of a community. The houses within them are called “homes” in order to confer emotional allegiance that they have not earned by being things worthy of our affection in places worth caring about.

The manufactured products we call “food” are visibly poisoning the public in epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And the manner in which this “food” is dispensed to solitary “consumers” — from drive-in-windows, microwave ovens, and convenience store racks — has drained all nurturing social ceremony from the act of eating as surely as it has drained out all the nutrition.

Having scores of “friends” on Facebook is not about personal association but is rather a marketing racket for a company set up to be an advertising enterprise.

Computer graphic wizardry has only damaged our ability to tell meaningful stories in the dramatic arts media and reduced it to sadistic spectacle. Personal computers, now including phones and tablets, prey on our genetic weakness for novelty and rob us of our waking hours when we might be doing more satisfying things than email.

Where public affairs are concerned, Federal Reserve interventions, pervasive accounting fraud, and computer-derived market manipulations are not an adequate substitute for a real economy of volitional transactions based on purposeful activity. And so on. The list of bad bargains is very long.

He has a way of putting things in perspective that provides much food for thought. Me, I just provide food for the tummy!

Healthy eating,
Ian and Camelia

Old 99 Farm, Week of Sept 1, 2013

Already Wednesday and I’m getting this memo out to you. Tomorrow is market day, but since that’s not a lot of leadtime for planning your shopping, maybe you want to order soon for NEXT week’s market! I am open this week too for the steadfast regulars.

Roasting chickens are looking good, growing nice and plump, fully feathered, scurrying around on the pasture where they have been located since 4 weeks of age.

Tomatoes are in abundance, including San Marzano Roma paste type. Also peppers, eggplants and onions.

Some excerpts from Aug 13 article by David Gumpert, US food rights activist.

…Why are hard-working normally law-abiding farmers aligning with urban and suburban consumers to flaunt well-established food safety regulations and statutes? Why are parents, who want only the best for their children, seeking out food that regulators say could be dangerous? And, why are regulators and prosecutors feeling so threatened by this trend?

…To these individuals, many of whom are parents, safety means not only food free of pathogens, but food free of pesticides, antibiotic residues, and excessive processing. It means food created the old-fashioned way—from animals allowed to eat grass instead of feed made from genetically modified (GMO) grains—and sold the old-fashioned way, privately by the farmer to the consumer, who is free to visit the farm and see the animals. Many of these consumers have viewed the secretly-made videos of downer cows being prodded into slaughterhouses and chickens so crammed into coops they can barely breathe.

…As more consumers become intent on making the final decisions on what foods they are going to feed themselves and their families, and regulators become just as intent on asserting what they see as their authority over inspecting and licensing all food, ugly scenarios of agitated citizens battling government authorities over access to food staples seem likely to proliferate. It’s an unfortunate recipe for a new kind of rights movement centered on the most basic acts—what we choose to eat.

What do you think about that?

eat well and healthy

Old 99 Farm Week of Aug 25 2013

Tues am, hot and humid, garden got 9/10ths inch of rain so weeding is easy now!
Had a wonderful bbq here with the folks from the Flamborough Fur and Feather Fanciers club, poultry lovers. We did kabobs with O99 lamb, peppers, eggplant and onion. Sunday was lovely weather too. Thanks to Camelia, we were ready when people arrived!

Tomatoes and eggplants, strawberries and peppers. Plus usual greens, beans, potatoes, squash.

Lamb is in. If you want to try some O99 lamb chops or minced lamb, now is your chance. I will have 10 more animals going to butcher in the next couple months.

Roasting chickens are looking very happy on the pasture in their new moveable shelter. You have to go see to believe the way they scamper around. That field was planted in wheat last fall, harvested a month ago, so there’s lots of wheat grains on the ground for them to scratch, in addition to the organic mixed grain ration they get.

See you thurs,
Healthy eating,
PS Nicole Foss emailed me that she will be in the area at end of September. She is a well informed international known speaker on living in the post-carbon era, (which we are already well into). Drop me a note if you are interested in being part of a private gathering with Nicole here at the farm, probably a three hour evening roundtable.

Old 99 Farm Week of Aug 18 2013

The new ‘woodshed’ now has walls, working on the second story by weekend. Saya from Osaka and Simone from Koln Germany have moved on to new hosts. The broiler chicken pasture sled is in service with birds enjoying grass and bugs. I’ve scheduled my livestock for their meeting with the butcher, the garden is bounteous, and the greenhouse is half planted for winter crops. Some day neutral strawberries are ripening now and will till frost. Tomatoes seem to be holding back their colour, odd.

This week, Camelia and I can offer the following crops: eggplant, rhubarb, chives, chard, kale (Nero, Darkibor, Redbor), beets and greens, mesclun salad mix, green onions, garlic, sorrel, sorrel, peppers, cilantro, lovage, as well firsts crop of honey, raw in jars and comb.

My pastured beef orderdesk is open. Have 2 beeves still available. Taking orders for October pickup. First to market Sept 24, will be ready three weeks later.

Dorset Lamb: taking deposits for 2013 crop. First to market Aug 20th. Will have some mutton too.

Pork: likely to market weight around end September.

About Lamb and Mutton
I found a couple of good sites online, here are some excerpts to help you figure you level of interest.

Once you’ve tasted proper mutton (spiked with garlic, peppered with crushed rosemary, and served with home-made redcurrant jelly) you’ll begin to wonder why anyone bothers with lamb at all! Sadly, though, mutton seems to have a poor reputation these days, which is not helped by the reality that most of the so called ‘mutton’ that is available is in fact worn out old cull ewes, which are generally sold into the ethnic market for the making of kebabs and suchlike. Properly reared mutton is an altogether different product, and in terms of flavour and quality it surpasses even the finest of beef. Admittedly it may be rather fatty for modern tastes, but the very fact that you’re opting for [pre-chemical, pre-industrialized] food, means you know animal fat is good for you. from—212299

Many cuisines worldwide incorporate lamb meat into some of their most famous dishes. There’s a world of meat to a lamb beyond rib chops or the leg. Every part of the animal, from the neck to the ankles, yields cuts of meat suitable for cooking. See here for description of cuts, more links and a chart at

Another rich link is:

healthy eating,

Old 99 Farm Week of Aug 11 2013

Quick reminder, if you needed it.
Lots of garden produce, lovely eggplants, fresh chard, peppers.

I made a tally of committed beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Three quarters beef still available, 10 lambs, 60 chickens and 2 pigs.

See you thursday.

Hope you make time to read so as to stay alert to coming impacts and your lifestyles choices.

Healthy eating,

Old 99 Farm Week of Aug 4 2013

More projects and more vegetables this week. Even some strawberries from the new plot, only a few so I’ll have them picked for the folks who come for their regular fare.
The woodshed is getting most of the landscaping done so the basement level ramp is evident. Building the structure should start next week.
Friend Andrew built most of the new chicken sled for raising broiler chickens on pasture. The chicks are about 3 weeks old now and growing fast. Will go outside in a week or two.

New HelpXers here, Simone Berger from Germany and Saya Yoshihara from Osaka Japan are learning what farm life is like.

See you Thursday,