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 June 2 2013

last minute reminder.

Fewer greens this week. chard is bolting, sending up seed head stems.

My eggs are getting more scarce too.

The shed is down, had a great workday last saturday. still debris on the ground.

Old 99 Strawberry solstice potluck Sunday June 23. Arrive noon or later. Eat picnic style mid afternoon. Bring a dish for 4 people, and strawberry, one quart only. Or we’ll be swimming in berries, and I’ll have to can them all. I supply the cream. Pls RSVP by June 18.

Family welcome. Come meet the locallygrown and O99 cowsharers. share recipes and sources for healthy food. New local chapter president of Weston A Price Foundation is coming, find out more.

healthy eating,

Old 99 Farm, pork

I just returned from the butcher, here is the organic pork cuts available:
Ham Roasts, Fresh, bone in, 4 to 6lb – 8
Shoulder Roasts, Fresh, bone in, 4lb – 4
Chops, loin four pack and two pack – 21
Chops, sirloin two pack – 3
Chops, butt, two pack – 8
Ground Pork, 1 lb packs, – 20
Bacon, wood smoked, thick cut 1lb – 17
Hocks , fresh, – 4 (duh)
Feet, fresh, twopack – 2

No sausage or other cuts.

Place your order in the usual way so I can keep a current count. thanks.

Old 99 Farm, Week of May 26 2013

Order at I plan to have the new pork available this Thurs. Check tuesday for cuts.

We had a grand success work party cleaning out the woodshed on Saturday, now it’s time to take the building down. Workparty #2 on Saturday coming. Bring your hammer and crowbar, maybe a battery powered drill to back out screws. 10am till whenever.

Lots of brain food planted this year: brassicas (kales, broccoli, cabbages, brussels sprouts), alliums (onion/garlic) and bright colored fruits like tomatoes. See Dr Terry Wahls, recovered victim of MS since 2000 at for how food helps keep us healthy and the diet she used to combat her degenerative disease.

Are you starting to wonder about GMO based foods? The average person eats 193 lbs a year of the stuff in NA. GMO Myths and Truths – is an evidence based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. A report of 120 pages, it can be downloaded for free from “GMO Myths and Truths” disputes the claims of the Biotech industry that GM crops yield better and more nutritious food, that they save on the use of pesticides, have no environmental impact whatsoever and are perfectly safe to eat.

Dr. Thierry Vrain is going public with what he knows about GMO health risks. He was a genetic engineer/scientist in agricultural research, former head of Biotechnology at Canadian Government Summerland Research Station. He believed in the promise of GMOs, that they would increase yields, increase nutritional content, reduce herbicide and pesticide use. Since then, he has read a lot of the research being done abroad, and now understands the claims for GMOs are contradicted by recent findings, and that GMOs pose real risks to our health, and the environment.

You can

Old 99 Farm, week of May 19th

Late again. No news this week, just a reminder, it’s . Add rhubarb to the list.

Oops, there is some news… we had a wonderfully productive workparty on Saturday. Thank you all that did come out, especially all the newcomers from Peter Ormond’s Mohawk Environmental Studies class. We got 150 asparagus crowns planted, 100+ Kent and Jewel strawberries, three orchard trees (quinces and a Stanley plum) and some gooseberries and red currants. The new raspberry patch and rhubarb plot got mulched with old hay. The hardcore stayed to learn how to milk a cow!

Will be having a woodshed party this saturday May 24th, to clear out the tools and artifacts in preparation for demolition and new construction of a store, root cellar and loft in the same location. Can you find a bit of time to help out?

Got my bee yard restarted this week, four new hives to pollinate and give us lots of honey this fall.

I will post this week the cuts available for the organic pork.

Mark your calendar for the Old 99 Strawberry solstice potluck June 23rd. Invitations to cowshare and locallygrown members and families.

Special news Old99 Farm

I just got off the phone from my butcher, John Mediema, and have arranged for an organic pig, butchered and smoked organically. So I’ll have pork for you in about two weeks. Bacon will be $10/lb, rest of prices to follow. Leaf lard is available as is bones, head cheese and the usual cuts.

My Tamworth weaners are here now, three of them, which will be fun to watch as they grow and make all their piggy noises pasturing and wallowing in the yard.

Order online, if you please.

Old 99 Farm, week of May 12 2013 to order.

It’s 9 minutes after midnite Monday and I’m watching the thermometer outside hover over zero. Do I go out and spray the blossoming fruit trees to ward off frost damage and cover the freshly planted seedlings in the garden? You’ll have to come on thursday to find out .

We’re at the end of the spring harvest season and not quite in the summer, so selection is becoming limited. Sure do have chard, still sweet from winter cools. Some kale, beet tops, parsley too.

Will try offering garden veggie transplants this spring, so check the listing under transplants. Many are four plants per unit but tomatoes, eggplants, celeriac and parsley root are per each. A unit costs $4.

This weekend I am planting new berry bushes and trees on Saturday. Would you be interested in coming out to help? 10 to 4pm or part thereof. I’m putting in a new grove of gooseberries, red currants and chokeberries and adding some fruit trees to the orchard. Possibly a big patch of asparagus too.

Coming soon is the tear-down of the woodshed to make room for rebuilding it, complete with rootcellar for root, fruit and honey storage. This saturday I will welcome many hands to transfer the contents of the shed beside the barn to the empty greenhouse for temporary storage. It’s probably only a few hours for 5 to 10 people. The new building will become the store for all farm products as well as storage. I hope it will be completed by the Old 99 Strawberry solstice on Sunday June 23, potluck, all invited.

Healthy eating,
Ian, with daughters Kelly and Kendra

Old 99 Farm, week of May 5 2013

I zoomed right past this week leading up to market day here at O99. So now I have picked the orders for you faithful ones, and I look forward to chatting when you come to pick up your fresh greens, eggs, meats etc.

Daughters Kelly and Kendra came again this week for a day in the life of their farmer-dad,and helped plant the first few beds in the outdoor garden. So we have early cabbage, brussels sprouts, parsley root and Nero kale transplants in the ground. There are a lot of transplants that we likely can’t use, and next week I’ll post the list so you could buy and get your garden jumpstarted.

In case you are timid, overworked or just plain doubtful you can do it, try the Square Food Gardening book approach. Here’s a link to the layout and # plants per sq ft you should plant. (Ignore the rest of the site, it’s sort of doomer, even for me.)

Kelly persuaded me to put in strawberries again, after a couple years hiatus. We may have a few late in the season but usually one is advised to not harvest the first year.

Rhubarb is likely available starting next week.

Healthy eating,

PS we posted on for willing workers from abroad or even local, who want a farmstay experience and help out with the work. You can check us out under Old 99 Farm, natch.

Old 99 Farm, week of Apr 28 2013

order at

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,

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 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.

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:
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."