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 Mar 20 2015


We’ve had some cold nites, below freezing outside, just down to zero in the greenhouse so little damage to the new seedlings. Growing food is getting trickier with the climate variability.

“Joel Salatin” the famous modernday permaculture farmer, :http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/97339/joel-salatin-promise-regenerative-farming was interviewed on Peak Prosperity recently. I’d say its worth reading or listening to. “I think that too often consumers take the convenient way out and say ‘Well, if farmers would just do things differently, everything would be better.’ The truth is that farmers have always followed the market. If people refuse to buy genetically modified organism food, farmers won’t produce it. It’s really that simple. It doesn’t take a government agent, a bureaucracy, a police state, a new law. I mean, all of this could be changed just by consumers taking a more active and aggressive role at financing what they say they believe in from the outset.”

The Family Food Freedom rally in Newmarket last week was successful in bringing out over 200 people to stand witness that we want the right to choose what food we eat. In the same week, General Mills (think Cheerios) announced it would be labelling GMO content on its food products, as already is the case with Campbells Soup.
West Virginia legalized cowshares for raw milk for human consumption. Slow progress.

Another reminder that fresh pastured lamb for Easter is an option. We have whole and half leg of lamb, bone in or deboned, chops, loin roast, shanks, ground, kabob, stew and organs. Am offering advance ordering for pork sides. If you want kabobs made up on skewers like in the photo, pls make order.

Egg prices reduced to $6.75 for jumbo, $6.00 for XL, $5.50 for Large. Getting lots of duck eggs now too.

Chicken broth will be a regular offering for the spring.

As of Mar 20th , we can offer the following crops: leeks, kale, chard, spinach, cilantro, turban squash, purple potatoes and arugula.

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: chicken broth, chicken casserole meat, apple sauce, stuffed peppers, cucumber relish, quiches (on order).

Healthy eating
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn
PS Kaz is growing oyster mushrooms here for the first time: now fruiting.

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar 13 2016


As of Mar 13th , we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, leeks, kale, chard, spinach, cilantro, kale, spaghetti and turban squash, purple potatoes and arugula.
Special on Kale: larger bunch for same price.

We’ll have freshly butchered lamb this thursday. You can choose from whole leg, bone or deboned and rolled, loin chops, tenderloin, ground or stew, shanks and rib racks. I’ll have soup bones and organs.
Here’s what the kabobs looked like last time we made them up.

I’m holding one of our soil block flats for starting seedlings.

Cami found some volunteer potatoes poking up through the arugula!

The greenhouse is experiencing a burst of growth with the greens: kale, chard, arugula, cabbage leaves and spinach.

This wednesday is the family food freedom rally in Newmarket. It’s about having choice to eat and know what is in our food. Still room in the cars, leaving Old 99 6:30 am, returning 1pm.
We are crowdfunding this food rights issue.
For background on the case go to Nourishing Liberty website

I have a bungalow for rent in Westdale/Ainslie Wood, available Apr 1st. Comfortable clean two bedroom home with large room in basement. Large city property with long driveway and small garage. The backyard is large enough for badminton and cozy enough for a quiet cup of tea. Brand new luxury bathroom with excellent light and low maintenance surfaces. Very spacious kitchen with new dishwasher. Laundry and some storage space in basement. New high efficient furnace. It’s a quiet street while also close to all amenities, walkable to MacMaster University and quick access to walking trails and the escarpment. It’s listed on kijiji with photos. Ad ID 1141252277

Old 99 farm Fri Mar 11 2015


Wow, I just gotta share this with y’all. A rise of 4/10s of 1% of soil carbon would result in the annual storage of 3.4 billion tonnes of soil carbon, countering the rise in atmospheric CO2. With suitable farming methods this is very doable, but farmers will need assurance from policy setters that they can benefit from changing their chemical dependent ways.

One of my ‘go to’ sites is Regenerative Agriculture and they’re hot right now. They are teamed up with the French in a program called 4P1000 Initiative, to meet multiple goals for improving human health, soil fertility, reducing carbon pollution and increasing food production. The Organic Consumers Association and IFOAM Organics International praised the French Government’s 4 per 1000 Initiative as the most important climate strategy to come out of the COP21 Paris Climate Talks.

Watch a video here on how the small scale intensive farmers can apply this thinking and earn a living.

Read more here. This is a report on how soil affects health of plants and in turn the humans that eat them.

A main vector for improving human health from this regenerative approach to agriculture is the soilfoodweb, the microbial diversity that exists in healthy soil.

A pediatric neurologist from NYC is quoted in the Mercola article, “Take a trip to the forest with your family … Community gardens are also wonderful. So are farmers’ markets. They expose children to fresh foods, which taste completely different. And it also exposes them to potentially healthy microbes through the traces of soil that might be left over on the fruits and vegetables when you buy them at a farmers’ market.” It’s because the diversity of microbes that our bodies, especially kids, are exposed to that strengthens our immune system against diseases. The journey of her child’s soy allergy led her to write the book “The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids With Food Straight from Soil.”

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar 7th 2015



Our new road sign, with removeable plaques for what is available in the store. Nice job and thanks to Jesse and Kazlyn.

I saw the first robins today, the grass is greening up and weather trend says no freezing for next two weeks. Could be a setup for early buds on fruit trees getting started too early and then a frost kills them. sigh… climate disruption is hard.

If thursday market time is not convenient this week, let me know, place the order and I’ll pick and leave for you in the cooler in the store.

Special this week is ground beef, 10% off.

I took 5 lambs to the butcher this week so fresh lamb for Easter is an option. If you want special cuts let me know by Sunday. Am offering advance ordering for pork sides. We’re doing kabobs again, they were popular last time we did it in 2014.

Egg prices reduced to $6.00 for XL, $5.50 for Large. Getting lots of duck eggs now too.

Chicken broth will be a regular offering for the spring.

As of Mar 7th , we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, chard, collards, cilantro, kale, spaghetti and turban squash, purple potatoes and new crop of arugula and spinach.

Family Food Freedom Rally March 16 in Newmarket update. Buses are bringing people from London Stratford, Guelph, Toronto to the courthouse in Newmarket. We’ve got two cars going from Hamilton. This is about your right to eat healthy food as you see fit, such as raw milk.

MARCH 16, 2016 | Rally @ 8:30am | Hearing @ 9:30am
Ontario Court of Justice, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket
(south-west corner of Yonge St. & Eagle St. W.)
Who decides and controls what you eat and drink?
Not you apparently. The government has decided that raw milk is so dangerous that it must “protect” you by stopping the flow at the source – your farmer.

After 22 years of raids and harassment on Glencolton Farms, the government has just crossed the line. They intend to shut down ALL raw milk producers in Ontario.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Regional Municipality of York have issued Notices of Application for a court injunction against Michael Schmidt, his wife and son, members of the farm co-operative, another person, John Doe, Jane Doe and Persons Unknown, and the Church of the Christian Community in Canada.
They were accused of contravening the provincial Milk Act, and the Health Protection and Promotion Act. They’re being told to stop selling and distributing raw milk. The church allowed the Glencolton van to use its parking lot.

Unite and defend your freedom to choose what foods you consume.
It’s NOT a done deal. We have to make it clear that we will not be intimidated.
If you can spare the morning of Mar 16, please join us. We’ll be back by 1pm.

Healthy Eating
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn

Old 99 Farm, week of Feb 28 2016


This is a leap year, one extra day in the calendar. Anyone born on Feb 29th?
There were lots of public scheduled for today in the Leap Manifesto campaign to reverse climate disruption and reform the economic system. Check out the statement of climate rights at "LeapManifesto’:www.leapmanifesto.org and LeapYear2016 to find out more.

Special this week is spaghetti squash, two for one. You can cook and freeze for quick meal under sauces or as a side in place of potatoes.

Remember the Paris Agreement, so long ago Dec 2015? I was one who felt dismayed at the meager scope of agreement that was reached. I hoped that maybe the main players had a plan: minimal win now for big win later. In three years all parties are supposed to report back and update their plans to reduce carbon.

One of my main ‘go-to’ guys on climate is Albert Bates, I have posted his work here often. He has attended all COP climate summits! His first post after Paris was flat disappointment. Now with a couple of months he’s got a more complete picture. He says " what actually came out of Paris, there’s a paradigm shift. It’s giving rise to a geotherapy which puts biology first. It’s challenging big agriculture at the global industrial level. It places the soil-food-life web near the center of discussions in every COP to come."
And “The real victory at COP21, I think, was the recognition that we had this previously hidden weapon to fight climate change – the role that soils can play in reversing global warming. Managing carbon content in soils is really the best way to take control of the carbon cycle.”

I have been studying permaculture for 10 years now, practising it here for 8. It says the same and shows how to indeed treat the soil as a living system that store carbon. I farm that way. I buy thousands of dollars of hay and straw to feed animals who poop out 80% of it which I return to the soil on our farm. Better soil, better crops, better carbon capture. There are other ways too, but that is a main one. So when you buy food here, you are helping me do that. Plain and simple.

This week pretty much same as last week, except for the special on squash. As of Feb 28th, we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, cilantro, parsley, kale, spaghetti and turban squash, purple potatoes and a new crop of arugula. We’re taking advance orders for sides of pork and lamb.

I remind you of Easter if a leg of lamb is in your plans, please talk to me. (Speaking of lambs, Kazlyn shepherded triplets on Thurs last, was up most of the night, and all 3 are doing well.)

On March 16th there is a Food Freedom Rally in Newmarket at the courthouse. I am going and invite any of you to come with. The point is to come show your support for the right to eat what you choose, specifically raw milk!

MARCH 16, 2016 | Rally @ 8:30am | Hearing @ 9:30am
Ontario Court of Justice, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket
(south-west corner of Yonge St. & Eagle St. W.)

Who decides and controls what you eat and drink?
Not you apparently. The government has decided that raw milk is so dangerous that it must “protect” you by stopping the flow at the source – your farmer.
You go out of your way to access our fresh, nutritious milk, knowing it’s sourced from healthy, pastured cows and handled properly. You want raw milk but the current laws forbid farmers from selling or giving it to you.

After 22 years of raids and harassment against one courageous farmer, Michael Schmidt at Glencolton Farms, the government has just crossed the line. They intend to shut down ALL raw milk producers in Ontario.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Regional Municipality of York have issued Notices of Application for a court injunction against Michael Schmidt, his wife and son, members of the farm co-operative, another person, John Doe, Jane Doe and Persons Unknown, and the Church of the Christian Community in Canada.
They were accused of contravening the provincial Milk Act, and the Health Protection and Promotion Act. They’re being told to stop selling and distributing raw milk. The church allowed the Glencolton van to use its parking lot. Parties will appear in court on March 16th.

Unite and defend your freedom to choose what foods you consume, not just milk.

It’s NOT a done deal. We have to make it clear that we will not be intimidated. Contact me if you can come.

Healthy eating,
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn

Old 99 Farm, week of Feb 21 2015


We’re going to head back to Huron County this weekend to finish the Holistic Management course at MeetingPlace Organic Farm, and apparently, another storm is on the way. May be more rain than snow though.

My inquiry about chicken broth got a couple of replies, so we’ve gone ahead and started producing the first few batches. Cami adds our organic onions, carrots and seasonings. I’ll include it in the market offerings. There is the simmered chicken meat from the carcass as well, good for making quick meals, stir fry, soups and chicken pot pie. It will be frozen in baggies.

Greens are holding well in the greenhouse, with the first new crop of arugula now able to harvest. Also purple potatoes in the rootcellar and duck, chicken and goose eggs (good to eat and keep the shells for painting Easter Eggs).

Says Peter Mundy, originally published by Sustainable Food Trust (Feb 19, 2016), "We face huge challenges in feeding the world sustainably. But one thing is certain: grazing ruminant livestock – and the high-quality food they produce – can and should play a key role… The quest for sustainable food production is highly complex and there will be no one-size-fits-all solution. Indeed, the necessary solutions will inevitably be highly complex, multi-faceted and site-specific: it comes down not simply to what you eat, but fundamentally how it is farmed. Read more here and here
So, in light of this important public discussion, the special this week is Hamburger, 10% off.

Healthy eating
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn.

Old 99 Farm, week of Feb 14 2016


What a lovely drive up Hwy 86 to Wingham area, through prosperous farmland and small towns. We went last thurs and returned Saturday for a weekend at a farm B&B called MeetingPlace Farm, to participate in a course on Holistic (farm)Management. Very inspiring. The snow up there is way more than here! And we picked the coldest weekend of the year to get away! Thanks to Kazlyn for holding the fort here at home. Even had a power outage to contend with.

One of many ideas for our farm was to make regular offering of chicken broth and chicken stew meat, ready to eat. Would you be interested? Broth at $8/L and stew meat at $12/kg. It is tender flavourful and ready to use for casseroles, soups, even sandwiches.

Our greens this week survived the cold: napa cabbage is the handsdown winner followed by the perpetual green chard.
Root vegs still available: sweet and reg potatoes, onions, fresh dug carrots. Cooking apples for apple sauce or making your own apple butter are on hand. Lots of squash too.

Easter is approaching: have you thought about a leg of lamb or roast? I’ll need advance notice this week or next. Am putting lamb on special, 10% off, for the next two weeks. Whole lamb $13/kg or $5.90/lb hanging weight usually about 60lb.

Healthy eating,
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn

Old 99 Farm week of Feb 7 2016


Really gotta be quick tonite, still have to go do the chores!
Cami and I are away attending a course in holistic farm management this weekend starting thurs. Kazlyn will be here handling everything. No prepared foods this week.

Special on steaks repeated this week. 10% off rib, tbone and sirloin.
As of Feb 7th, we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, cilantro, parsley, kale, fresh dug carrots, spaghetti and turban squash, red skin and purple potatoes.

Get ready for a cold spell coming at the weekend; supposed to drop to -17degC.

Healthy eating,
Ian, Cami and Kazlyn

Old 99 Farm, week of Jan 30, 2016


We came back from the Guelph Organic Conference full of ideas and inspiration for the coming season. It was jam packed with people, some with kids in strollers, some with a bit of wobble to their walk, Amish and Mennonite, urban and rural. Well worth going.

Special this week: soup hens and beef steaks (rib, sirloin and T-bone), both 10% off.

We’re planting in the greenhouse this week, another step closer to the new season. New spinach, lettuce and arugula that we planted a month ago is healthy, waiting patiently for the longer days to really put on a growth spurt.

This week we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, cilantro, parsley, kale, fresh dug carrots, chard, collards, spaghetti and turban squash, red skin and purple potatoes.

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: apple sauce, stuffed peppers, cucumber relish, quiches (on order).

Old 99 Farm, week of Jan 23 2016


Eggs are back to regular price of $6.75/doz for extra large, $6.25 for large. Please bring in egg cartons, I’ve had to buy new cartons recently because we were sending out so many.

Special on ‘Bonny Red’ Chicken roasters, $1 off the per kg price.

As of Jan 24th, we can offer the following crops: sweet potato, cilantro, parsley, kale, fresh dug carrots, chard, collards, spaghetti and turban squash, whole wheat flour, red skin and purple potatoes.

Camelia is cooking prepared foods from our produce: apple sauce, stuffed peppers, cucumber relish, quiches (on order).

Why is the energy/climate consensus so durable, even in the face of compelling facts or logic? A persuasive analysis of this social phenomenon by Irish systems thinker, physicist and human systems ecologist David Korowicz can be found here.

He writes, “We are trying to comprehend our world within the world-views and economic orthodoxies developed over an extra-ordinary, two-hundred year period of compound economic growth. This growth was coincident with increasing wealth, complexity and globalized integration. Part of our dominant consensus is that this trend will continue. Much of what is important to us, how we live, our expectations, what we value and hold dear, was shaped by this process. And we, the global 10%, have done well out of it.”

“When the conditions that underpinned the consensus change, it can be very difficult to acknowledge and let go of our attachment. For acknowledgement means rejecting not only the familiar but something that may have embodied our status, past efforts, our hopes and even our collective mythology.

Defending the dominant consensus is always reasonable, confident and considered, for it is born out of the cosmology or world-view of the age. But world-views shape their own perceptions and contain the narratives of their own defence."

What consensus views do you share or refute? Where do you stand on the fringe (of conventional wisdom) looking in? Organic food? Limits to Growth? Grassroots democracy? Population overshoot?

Healthy eating,
Ian Cami and Kazlyn.