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 Feb 3 2019


Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo
- collards, carrots, lettuce
- beef: ground, stew and roasts, special 15% off.
including two 30 month old steers just back from the butcher, boxed as mixed quarters, also 15% off
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- potatoes
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced
Soon we’ll have spinach, chard, kale as the days lengthen, the plants now in the soil in the greenhouse will put out a burst of growth.

We got through the cold snap, minus 28C and all, with the vegetables in the Hobbit greenhouse still alive and well. Don’t has how much firewood I had to lug in there every three hours at night!

I’m doing a townhall meeting Wed evening Feb 6th at 8pm on Climate Emergency Here and Now, what to do??? Come get up to date information and start considering how to be part of the solution, be the change the earth needs us to be. Co-sponsored by Lions Club, Hamilton 350 and National Farmer Union – Ontario. Located at Copetown Community Centre.

Check this video lecture by my favorite climate scientist Kevin Anderson who tells it like it is to students at Oxford University in Jan 2019.

Old 99 FArm, week of Jan 20 2019


I’ve been nursing a crop of buttercrunch lettuce through the winter so far with success, but this cold snap is likely going to be the coup de gras. Order lettuce week! I’ll leave the roots in the ground for second crop.

Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo
- collards, carrots, lettuce
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

Today Tuesday I took two steers to the butcher so will have full freezers next week. If you want a half or quarter cut to your specifications, please let me know by next Tuesday. All beef on special 15% off.
I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed.

The hens are reacting to the cold by cutting the rate of lay by 3/4s. Never seen this drastic drop before.

Yea, Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Jan 13 2019


Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo THREE FOR TWO special now on
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. Offer 15% discount off all beef prices this month. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork in winter though).

Healthy Eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Jan 6 2019


Well it’s the first week of 2019, New Year’s eve come and gone, no snow on the ground, no frost in the ground.
Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo THREE FOR TWO special now on
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. Offer 15% discount off all beef prices this month. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork).

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

More on the Adaptive Cycle


From the same article, The Big Picture, by Richard Heinberg in Resilence.org.
IG, Dec 24, 2018.

(I fixed the graphic so it fits.)
Why Civilizations Collapse: The Adaptive Cycle

Ecosystems have been observed almost universally to repeatedly pass through four phases of the adaptive cycle: exploitation, conservation, release, and reorganization. Imagine, for example, a Ponderosa pine forest. Following a disturbance such as a fire (in which stored carbon is released into the environment), hardy and adaptable “pioneer” species of plants and small animals fill in open niches and reproduce rapidly.

This reorganization phase of the cycle soon transitions to an exploitation phase, in which those species that can take advantage of relationships with other species start to dominate. These relationships make the system more stable, but at the expense of diversity.

During the conservation phase, resources like nutrients, water, and sunlight are so taken up by the dominant species that the system as a whole eventually loses its flexibility to deal with changing conditions. These trends lead to a point where the system is susceptible to a crash—a release phase. Many trees die, dispersing their nutrients, opening the forest canopy to let more light in, and providing habitat for shrubs and small animals. The cycle starts over.

This model has been applied to social systems as well as ecological ones. So the obvious question is, has the cycle started over for technological civilization?

There is a short essay by Naomi Oreskes, Cultural Historian at Harvard U, called The Collapse of Western Civilization, set in the year 2320 in the Second People’s Republic of China. It is available online too.

Old99 Farm, week of Dec 23 2018


We are past the solstice, shortest day of the year! yeah, wonderful.

This week we have:
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- stone ground flour: wheat
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork).

I’d like to append the key points from Richard Heineberg’s recent essay on Resilience.org. It very much affirms my own thinking about how to respond as a good citizen to the climate crisis, among the rest of them.
Humanity has a lot of problems these days. Climate change, increasing economic inequality, crashing biodiversity, political polarization, and a global debt bubble are just a few’ If all this is true, then we now face more-or-less inevitable economic, social, political, and ecological calamity.
How much harder must it be to acknowledge signs of the imminent passing of one’s entire way of life, and the extreme disruption of familiar ecosystems? It is therefore no wonder that so many of us opt for denial and distraction.
It may be possible to intervene in collapse to improve outcomes—for ourselves, our communities, our species, and thousands of other species. I like to think so.

The Big Picture (an understanding of the adaptive cycle, the role of energy, and our overshoot predicament) adds both a sense of urgency, and also a new set of priorities that are currently being neglected. Picture a mobius strip, in a box with four quandrants.

It is entirely possible,that we humans are rapidly evolving to live more peacefully in larger groups. If so, then what plan for action makes the most sense in the context of the Big Picture, given our meager organizational resources?

Post-carbon Institute, Heineberg’s outfit came up with a four-fold strategy.

1) Encourage resilience building at the community level.

2)Leave good ideas lying around.
The key to taking advantage of crises is having effective system-changing plans waiting in the wings for the ripe moment One collection of ideas and skills that’s already handily packaged and awaiting adoption is permaculture. Another set consists of consensus decision-making skills.

3)Target innovators and early adopters.
Innovators are important, but the success of their efforts depends on diffusion of the innovation among early adopters, who tend to be few in number but exceptionally influential in the general population.

4)Help people grasp the Big Picture.
Discussions about the vulnerability of civilization to collapse are not for everyone. Some of us are too psychologically fragile but for those able to take in the information and still function, the Big Picture offers helpful perspective. It confirms what many of us already intuitively know. And it provides a context for strategic action.
Neuroscience also offers good news: it teaches us that cooperative impulses are rooted deep in our evolutionary past, just like competitive ones. by pulling together that we can hope to salvage and protect what is most intrinsically valuable about our world, and perhaps even
improve lives over the long term.
The one thing that is most likely to influence how our communities get through the coming meta-crisis is the quality of relationships among members. A great deal depends on whether we exhibit pro-social attitudes and responses.

Hard times are in store. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do. Each day of relative normalcy that remains is an occasion for thankfulness and an opportunity for action.

Healthy eating, healthy community building, healthy outlook!
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Dec 17 2018


This week we have:
- kale, collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions, garlic
- celeriac
- stone ground flour: wheat
- lard, rendered or minced
- apple cider pressed here, frozen

Egg special still on, buy two dozen, get three. Get your xmas baking done with farm fresh eggs.

Climate summit COP24 in Poland now over; rules for ensuring the Paris Agreement have mostly been settled, but the timeline is stretched out way past the critical period of the next three years. Rules are legally binding but no sanctions or penalties are prescribed.

My latest find on the internet for those wanting to get the full story so you can plan accordingly: DoomisforDummies

Some Al Gore quotes from an recent interview on why he is still optimistic about humanity’s capacity to stabilize climate:
…to repeat myself, my assumption that we will summon the requisite political will to really accelerate these changes is the basis for my optimism.
I refuse to believe, in other words, that we as human beings are somehow destined, by our nature, to destroy ourselves.

We are in dire need of changing common agricultural practices anyway, because we’re depleting topsoils at an unsustainable rate. We can’t continue with this Roundup fiasco.
The two-thirds and more of the American people that have had enough of Donald J. Trump are hearing and seeing him spout climate denial in his own uniquely offensive manner.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Eggs Eggs and Eggs


The new laying flock has finally hit its stride and laying rate is about 70%, likely to go as high at 90%. Which means 100 birds will lay 70 eggs every day!

Which means I have lots of eggs. I really need you to find friends and neighbours to buy eggs this winter.

By the way, eggs are not the bad guy we have been led to believe re cholesterol. You can’t increase your colesterol levels by eating eggs!

So I have a deal for you, if you promise to keep eating your regular amount of eggs, or more.

We’ll offer three dozen for the price of two. That means you can give one dozen away to a friend or needy person with ease. Large size is $5/doz, XL is $6.75 and Jumbo is $7.50.

These are organic eggs, from organic layers fed organic grains from a local organic farm. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Old 99Farm, week of Dec 1 2018


This week we have:
- kale, collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts except smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley, arugula
- potatoes, onions, garlic
- celeriac
- stone ground flour: wheat
- roast goose, butchered this fall
- lard, rendered or minced
- apple cider pressed here, frozen
- blackberry cuttings, rooted

A major climate summit is happening in Katowice (katovicha) Poland this week: COP24: the 24th conference of parties to the UN framework on climate change. Remember2015? The Paris Agreement where Justin T proclaimed ‘Canada is back!’? Well not quite. We’re way back there, in the standings of states meeting their own voluntary commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. Go here for a YouTube channel set up to share the links from over there. If you are not already on the member list of the ScientistsWarning.org website, then please get on that. That will be the best means of distribution for the full set of programs from COP-24. If you subscribe to the ScientistsWarning.TV channel, then you will get notified with each upload. That is the preferred means really.

I had an exhilarating time at the Soil and Nutrition conference put on by Bionutrient Food Assoc. I’ll be introducing ideas for boosting your own garden produce nutrition as well as here at O’99 by starting a study group. Watch for news at Community Permaculture Lab on facebook.

Yeah, healthy eating!
Ian and Cami.

New NAFTA: Don't sign it Justin!


Today the National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland urging them not to sign the new NAFTA agreement in its present form.

See why on the NFU website

“It has recently come to light that the published text – which is available only on the US Trade Representatives website and in English — contains clauses regarding dairy tariff-setting authority that differ from what Canadian negotiators agreed upon,” noted Katie Ward, NFU President. “The fact that the negotiated final text either does not exist or has not been made public is reason enough to cancel the planned signing ceremony.”

“The new NAFTA, or United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) would severely damage our supply management system, which is the envy of struggling dairy farmers in the United States and around the world,” noted Cam Goff, NFU 1st Vice President (Policy). “The agreement would also compromise the quality control system that is the foundation of the Canada’s international reputation for premium quality grain exports, and it would allow undue corporate influence over our seed registration system. With the USMCA’s ongoing renegotiation process starting in year six, we may well see an acceleration of the destruction of our supply management, grain grading and seed registration system.”

The USMCA grain section requires Canada to give imported US wheat the same grade as our own, and would prevent Canada from identifying country of origin for US wheat on our grade certificates. To implement these measures, we would have to amend the Canada Grain Act, but The Canada Grain Act requirements are the foundation of Canada’s reputation for quality assured grain.

Here are email addresses for PM Trudeau justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Trade Minister Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca
Please take a minute and send them your concern.

Healthy eating (while we still can control what we eat)
Ian