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 26 2016

This weekend is Canada Day celebrations; in order to keep things simple, there is no change to market day: place your orders by Friday noon, pick up friday 4 to 6 or by arrangement. I remind that if you order and forgot to come, you still made a purchase.

New crops are coming in: green garlic, chard, kale, beet tops, parsley. Asparagus is over for the season, but I saw the first raspberries ripening today. Some tomatoes are ready.

As of June 26th , we can offer the following crops: young chard, beet tops, green garlic (can cook like leek), rhubarb, kale, collards, arugula, chives, and herbs: dill, sweet cicely, bronze fennel and lovage. Fresh bone broth this week, frozen in 1 L pouches. There are frozen quiches in the freezer.

See you Friday,
Healthy local inseason eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of June 19 2016

We’ll be taking orders up to Friday 9am for pickup Friday 4 to6 or as arranged.
I go to the hospital Monday morning, June 20 for day surgery on my vocal cords. Dear Cami is standing by for most of the week because I’ll be restricted from speaking at all for three days then very limited use of voice for the next two weeks. Sign language and whistles for me!

New produce this week: chard, beet tops, kale, collards, eggplant, some cherry tomatoes, parsley, plus asparagus, eggs, rhubarb, chives, green garlic and sorrel.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm, week of June 12 2016

June 2016: Note change of date to Friday 4pm to 6pm from Thurs for weekly pickup. Or by special arrangement or ‘catch me in’. I offer picked produce on pre-order basis, picked Friday am.

Would you support a handgun ban in Canada? Go to bottom of page to participate in the survey.

We have new crop beet greens, chard, collards, kale, parsley, eggplant and green garlic. Lettuces almost finished, as are chards.

Eggs are going back up a buck a dozen to $5 for XL, $5.75 for Jumbo. Still a bargain and you’re helping me farm ethically and sustainably here in the Dundas valley.

Oh my how I got a boost this week from Albert Bates’ blog The Great Challenge about the ‘marshmellow test’, delayed gratification, trust and climate disruption, called Hot Brain Cool Brain.
Walter Mischel’s psychology experiment at Stanford in the 1960s took youngsters age 4 to 6, put them in a room one-by-one, gave them a choice of a cookie, mint, pretzel, or marshmallow and the following deal: they could eat the treat right away, or wait 15 minutes until the experimenter returned. If they waited, they would get an extra treat. Many lifestyle successes correlate with ability to delay gratification, which the researchers discovered by following these subjects through their lifetimes.

There is also an existing body of evidence that tells us that humans are predisposed to disbelieve scientific facts, or even their own experiences, if they conflict with strongly held beliefs. This is likely the phenomenon most responsible for our failure not merely to make the cultural changes required of us to avert climate Armageddon and Near Term Human Extinction – even simple lifestyle changes like eating lower on the food chain, cutting discretionary travel, living in a smaller house and having no more than one child – but our failure to even acknowledge, as individuals or collectively, that we have a problem. We have chosen instead, to believe an unreliable worldview. The students who showed low trust of adults, came from unreliable households, usually took the treat immediately: no delay.

So the kicker for me is that there likely is a self-reinforcing feedback loop going on with climate news. The more risky and unreliable the future climate gets, the more we react with hot brain thinking (which favours immediate responses, ie ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’). This relates to climate disruption because our collective choices for immediate gratification, eg trip to Florida, big car, alway on AC, imported fruits and veg, etc. are reducing our chances of handing on a liveable climate for our kids. Cool Brain thinking could neutralize strongly held beliefs (eg the that my choices don’t matter, that it’s too late anyway, that the leaders are all crooks, etc.) and cause us to opt for different lifestyle choices.

I think that’s very hopeful insight about human nature and our present condition at the end of the industrial age with Nature bleeding at the jugular.

For me the cool brain thinking identifies the present day, beta tested tools to reduce ACD. My list, which I’ve been adding to since 2005:

  • permaculture
  • internet
  • Transition Town movement
  • Relocalisation movement
  • biochar as soil carbon sequestration
  • Intermediate Technology movement
  • social marketing
  • wikileaks
  • natural capitalism
  • organic farming
  • restorative agriculture, carbon farming
  • Holistic Management system

The list is growing. What are your grounds for hope in a viable future?

Have a great week, check out the Mischel talk on the marshmellow test and enjoy local sunshine!

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Late Notice Market moved to Fridays

I’ll contact the customers who ordered for tomorrow directly if possible because I have to shift the market date to Friday this week for personal reasons.

Plus that gives me the extra shove to move the market to Fridays for the rest of the summer. Same time 4 to 6pm or by arrangement.

I like to pick all produce fresh the same day and refrigerate so you can come sat/sun/mon to pick up too if you’ve ordered by Thurs pm.

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of June 5 2016

We had a successful hay party with lots of help and great weather. The equipment worked flawlessly and the bbq was delicious. Love those mutton kabobs.

Eggs still on special at $4/doz extra large, $4.75 for jumbo.

Green garlic, asparagus, chives, rhubarb, sorrel, Good King Henry, and carrots are the new crops. Buttercrunch lettuce is holding prime.

Looking forward to your visit,

eating healthy,
Ian and Cami

Hay Party Saturday with bbq

The weather has been favourable and the hay looks lovely. I’ll be baling saturday midday and would love some company.
We’ll take it easy and spent sat afternoon picking up bales and taking to the barn.
Then we’ll have a lamb shishkebab bbq and relax.

I’m hoping you’ll come, at least for a couple hours, then come back for supper.


Old 99 Farm, Week of May 29 2016

Lots of growing things these days with the warmth in the soil; you can see some plants grow just watching them (not quite). Have green garlic and asparagus, rhubarb and lettuces as well as kale, chard and and a new carrot crop.
Special on eggs for next couple weeks, this is your occasion to introduce them to friends. All sizes $2 off, so XL $4, Jumbo $4.75, Large $3.50. Our hens are really prospering on the free range grass, organic feed and fresh air. Happy hens. I’m not quite so happy cuz they eat a pile of feed!

We’ll be doing a first cut of hay this week and I’d really appreciate any offers of help for a few hours. Will likely be thurs and/or friday. Let me know if you’d like to come along, so i can keep you posted. Small chance of rain on thurs is only glitch at the moment.

Now taking orders for roasting chickens, beef and pork sides.

Reminder: I sharpen your chef’s knives with proper equipment so you can really enjoy them. I mill hard red wheat on demand by the kilo, unsifted, wheat germ and all. We have comfrey transplants ready to go and the tree seedlings (red oak, chestnut and black locust) are healthy in the nursery waiting for a new home. I have a few Fredonia grapes I started from slips that may be of interest to you. Good juice and jelly grapes, disease resistant, a cultivar from the Concord.

Healthy Eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of May 22 2016

Thanks Norma, Lawrence and Jennifer for you orders already in. I got variously distracted this week and neglected the weekly reminder memo.

I will have your orders ready but I will be away from 4pm attending an orcharding workshop. This Apple and Small Fruit study group meets every other thursday during the summer from 4:30 in Freelton.

Some feedback would be helpful: better to switch market to another day, like friday, for these weeks,or for all weeks till end summer, or, let people schedule own pickups?

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

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