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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Leap or Not to Leap

Ever heard of “This Changes Everything: the movie” or the LEAP Manifesto? Here’s the guy, engagingly witty and witted, who had much to do with making them happen (along with his wife Naomi Klein in case of the book and about 60 other social activists, leaders and visionaries in the case of the LEAP document, “A call for a Canada based on caring for the earth and for one another”.

Avi Lewis (49), spars with Steve Paikin on The Agenda about the overwhelming necessity to shift off fossil fuel rollercoaster, the impetus from creating political space that leans against the moneyed class on the right with it’s growthism ethos, impoverished as it is. It’s a fun watch, they really seem equally matched! If Lewis is right (I think so) that we have an impoverished political imagination and incrementalism is so inadequate to the task, we need to take a LEAP, which requires being inspired. The sense of the possible, like I posted here last, active skepticism, that makes the job of our life to make the impossible, possible.

Old 99 Farm, week of May 15 2016

We harvested the first asparagus this weekend so there will be some for thursday, a few lucky people will get the order in early!

The greenhouse has had some hot days which has triggered the ‘bolting’ of the brassicas and spinach and chard too. Pity really, the crop was large and mostly not consumed. Still have lots of kale and lettuces but not as much choice.

Hope is an intractable (as in difficult to manage, deal with, or change to an acceptable condition) but indispensible element in our worldview to cope with every day life, especially now when we are obliged to face widening evidence of climate disruption and habitat destruction. But I found a useful approach by Susanne Moser in her keynote lecture (Conference on Communication and Environment), Hope: A Bridge without Railing. Hope (the word) can be used to describe a continuum from passive optimism (pollyannism)thru active heroic, passive skeptical to active skepticism or grounded hope. If we live in a stuck place between the impossible and the unthinkable, hope of the grounded variety gets us out of bed to do our utmost in spite of great odds.

Glen Murray, Ontario climate Commissioner recently spoke at McMaster about the supreme challenges of climate upset. Hope of the active skeptical kind is what he championed. Read the transcript of his talk here courtesy of Hamilton CATCH.

Environment Hamilton is spearheading efforts to get public hearings on climate action; the first organizing meeting happened last Monday. The PM has called on all MPs to host People’s Climate Plan forums this summer.
Some MPs have committed to host a town hall in their riding to listen to their constituents, but most haven’t. To ensure everyone across Canada has a chance to attend an in-person town hall, we need to encourage individual MPs to host a town hall in their ridings. You can use to get a reply from your MP on just what they are doing about this.

Yes we have a market this week, please pop over for fresh greens, eggs, pasture meats and some home cooked goodies by Cami.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old99 Farm week of May 8 2016

Just a quick reminder this week showcasing our produce, meats and eggs.
Market time is the usual 4 to 6 Thurs or by arrangement.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm week of May 1st 2016

This thursday I am attending a climate conference in Guelph and would like to hold the market on Friday. if this doesn’t work for you, and you would rather come thurs I can leave your order for pick up in the store fridge, labelled with amount. I’ll be out of here by 8am so no last minute orders please!

It means you have to get your orders in by Wed noon for me to pick on wed and assemble orders being picked up thurs.

Friday orders don’t have to be in before Friday noon.

Lots of greens, you should SSEEE the greenhouse, is it ever pretty. Green from wall to wall.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old99 Farm, week of Apr 23 2016

As of Apr 23rd , we can offer the following crops: mixed greens, kale, chard, spinach, cilantro, and several kinds of lettuce, two kinds of arugula, chives, and herbs sweet cicely and lovage.

Special this week on lamb: all cuts 10% off.

In the US, Costco has become the largest retailer of organic produce according to this report in Huffington Post. I don’t know about here in Canada?

When you buy local, you build resiliency in the local foodshed, see the way we build up soil nutrients and care for our animals. How can Costco offer that!

Healthy Eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Apr 17 2016

It’s wednesday already, the loyal regulars have their orders in even without my bulletin arriving in their inboxes. thank you.

Greens greens greens (not golf type) are luscious. Have at it for next couple weeks. Mixed salad greens especially prime right now.

Lots of eggs, lamb, beef and chicken.

Did you know…

In Romania’s Apuseni Mountain’s, the historic community of Rosia Montana (20 minutes from Cami’s home town) have been resisting plans to build Europe’s largest gold mine for over a decade. If built, the mine would level four mountains, raze 900 homes, displace 2,000 subsistence farmers and produce 196.4 million tonnes of cyanide polluted waste. Following the community’s struggle to stop the plans of Canadian multinational Gabriel Resources, In Defence of Life takes us behind the scenes of a landmark European struggle and a globally significant victory for civil society. Having admitted defeat, Gabriel Resources is filing to sue the Romanian Government for over $4billion in damages.

See this video called In Defence of Life about this and several other places on the planet where Canadian and Australian mining cos are making life very difficult for local peoples. The Romanian piece starts at 16:30 or so.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of Apr10 2016

Check this documentary, The Cross of the Moment, just out on vimeo, about the absolute uniqueness of Earth, from atmosphere to gravity to tides to sex. It is "A deep-green/deep-time, highly cerebral discussion of the environmental crisis, The Cross of the Moment attempts to connect the dots between Fermi’s Paradox, climate change, capitalism, and collapse. Interviews with top scientists and public intellectuals are woven together into a narrative that is challenging, exhausting, and often depressing as it refuses to accept the easy answers posited by other overly-simplistic climate change documentaries.

The film takes its title from a stanza of W. H. Auden’s poem The Age of Anxiety, published in 1947.
We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.

And for grounds for optimism about replacing fossil energy see LowTech website, lots of carefully researched profiles of past energy sources, this link is actually about growing mediterranean fruit in Paris, and keeping the Prussian invaders out too!

We have greens. lots. Mixed greens, collard greens, kale, spinach and chard.
Also, cilantro, leek, green onion and chickweed (just kidding).

Eggs and meats are in good supply.
Stuffed peppers, quiche, or say what would you like Cami to cook for you?

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm week of Mar 27 2016

Who would have thought we’d get two snow storms in first half of April! And twenty degree C swings in temperature.

The greenhouse is giving about 10dC of temperature protection at night and lots of heat during the days. The crops are looking fabulous.

We can offer spinach, kale, collards, mixed greens, cilantro, chard, arugula, rocket, green onions and leeks. Rhubarb maybe. The freezers are well stocked with lamb, beef, chicken, goose and duck, tho we are running low on some items, sold out on others. Cami will have stuffed peppers and quiches this week.

I have tree seedlings, about 3ft tall, ready to plant: Red Oak, Black walnut, and Eastern Chestnut. Also have comfrey in pots for your medicinal garden.

I discovered some mainstream ‘heavy hitters’ who are sounding the wake-up call for businesses to stress test their business plans for climate change. I like the approach of providing a ‘most likely’ and a extreme 5% risk with very costly impacts. This one by Bloomberg et al. From their website:
The mission of the Risky Business Project is to quantify the economic risks to the United States from unmitigated climate change. (You can easily extrapolate what these might be for Canada.) Our inaugural report, Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States, highlighted these risks across every region of the country, with a focus on three sectors: commodity agriculture, energy demand and coastal infrastructure.
Our research combines state-of-the-art climate science projections through the year 2100 with empirically-derived estimates of the impact of projected changes in temperature and precipitation.

When assessing risk related to climate change, it is particularly important to consider outlier events and not just the most likely scenarios. Indeed, the outlier onein- 100-year event today will become the one-in-10-year event as the earth continues to warm. Put another way, over time the extremes will become the “new normal.”

Interactive maps, regional reports and other content associated with the Risky Business Project are located at

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami
(Kazlyn has departed and we miss her. She’s doing her next internship at HeartSong Farm in Jerseyville. You might see her at the Ancaster Market this summer.)

Old 99 Farm week of Mar 27 2016

Easter weekend is now behind us, temperature swings and precipitation events are the new normal. What a weekend. Cami and I were on the south coast (lake Erie) visiting friends Mat and Dorothy living an off grid lifestyle and starting to farm with horses. Sunday got up to 21c then it rained alot and Monday was 4c.

The new season is upon us, so it’s time to start thinking about your meat orders raised here on pasture: pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck and goose. Am offering advance ordering for pork sides. Chickens will be started soon, so please advise your freezer order. If you want lamb kabobs made up on skewers like in the photo, pls make order.

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, green onions, 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).

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, : 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.