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 24 2013

It’s going to be mostly a crib this week from the worlds most favoured environmental website. About? Yes about you and what you think about Climate Chaos. How is that related to food you ask, and especially in Canada? (clues: tarsands, water, global supply chain)

But before I line in a few juicy quotes, the link for food this week is the same as last: (Special on eggs is over but we still have eggs!)

“You’d think it would be pretty obvious that the public is not going to be concerned about an issue unless one explains why they should be concerned about an issue. And the social science literature, including the vast literature on advertising and marketing, could not be clearer that only repeated messages have any chance of sinking in and moving the needle,…”

“The two greatest myths about global warming communications are 1) constant repetition of doomsday messages has been a major, ongoing strategy and 2) that strategy doesn’t work and indeed is actually counterproductive!”

“The stunning increase in extreme weather events — 25 disasters exceeding a billion dollars in the past two years — which had long been predicted by climate scientists, has not gone unnoticed by the public”: (see graphs on website: a majority think carbon based climate change made the storms worse).

“If you want to find anything approximating even modest, blunt, science-based messaging built around the scientific literature, interviews with actual climate scientists and a clear statement that we can solve this problem — well, you’ve all found it, of course, but the only people who see it are those who go looking for it.”

“Of course, this blog is not even aimed at the general public. Probably 99% of Americans haven’t even seen one of my headlines and 99.7% haven’t read one of my climate science posts. And Climate Progress is probably the most widely read, quoted, reposted, liked and retweeted, climate science blog in the world.”

Where is that?

Old 99 Farm week of Feb 17 2013

Really late this week, not that it matters to the loyal regulars who have already sent their orders in!! Thank you all.
Eggs special this week
Three for two pricing. Buy two get a third dozen to share with a neighbour or shut-in.

The cold and stopped any growth in the greenhouse, not enough to harvest greens this week. I do have carrots in the ground and potatoes in storage.

Some sobering food soundbites from the web last week, first by the renowned Lester Brown:
New era of food scarcity echoes collapsed civilizations

“The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity. Over the last decade, world grain reserves have fallen by one third. World food prices have more than doubled, triggering a worldwide land rush and ushering in a new geopolitics of food. Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold.”

And from David Suzuki, who needs no introduction, about tarsands, arctic drilling and climate upset:
Government must heed environment commissioner’s warnings
“Vaughan [Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner, Scott Vaughan] says the government has no real plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is not even on track to meet its own modest targets (already watered down from the widely accepted emission-levels baseline of 1990 to 2005). It is unprepared for tanker accidents and oil spills in coastal waters. It lacks regulations governing toxic chemicals used by the oil industry.”

Full text at

Old 99 Farm, Week of Feb 10th 2013

Order at

Fewer vegetables each week, but we have started planting the spring crops. The ‘Persephone’ months (less than 10 hrs daylight) are behind us, so plants will start their growth spurt in the greenhouse. Offering carrots, lettuce, chard, mizuna, mizuna, mizuna, and (oh, typo, the ‘m’ key got stuck), and mixed greens. Some kale might be regrowing next week.

I have added advance ordering for chicken and lamb as these are finite quantities and it gives you the option of planning ahead.

Thanks for the egg cartons, still need lots. Ask your neighbours!

Thought for the week, courtesy of Joe Romm, at

“Fundamentally, homo “sapiens” sapiens has constructed the grandest of Ponzi schemes, whereby current generations have figured out how to live off the wealth of future generations.”

Old 99 Farm week of Feb 4 2013

Had an inspiring time at the Guelph Organic Conference last weekend, including a wonderful day workshop with Michael Phillips from Vermont on Holistic Orchards. I can hardly wait to get out there and try his ideas.
Also attended short sessions all day Sat and Sunday on pastured pigs, wild pollinators, farm-centric community agriculture, electomagnetic influences (the wild side) on plants, and parsing the farm culture ideology (get big or get out, consumers are dumb, Big Ag is on our side, government is the problem, etc.) Check out for more of the alternative view of what it takes for food security these days.

Lots of eggs, meat and potatoes. Not much greens. Carrots are very tasty sweet.

I’m going for a bacon run to Gourmet Meats and can pick up a 10lb bulk order for you. I’m just the delivery man on this. Let me know if you want it by Wed am.

The Milk! documentary was on a CBC cable station so I didn’t get to see it.

Healthy eating to you all,

CBC Documentary on Milk, and Bees petiton

I just learned there is a CBC special on tonite on the controveries of milk, health claims pro and con. you might like to tune in at 8pm ET.

From the promo page for the film:

“Milk: The Documentary is an entertaining, award-winning documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products. An inquisitive man sets out to find the facts about milk and discovers more about the growing controversy surrounding it.

Also an Avaaz petition on bee poisons being banned in Europe this week; they want to mount 2 million names petition in support. Of course bees are fairly important to the food supply, and neonicotinoids are the leading culprit for the die off of bees, wild and honey bees alike.

Bees around the world are dying off and Europe’s food watchdog just said certain pesticides are part of the problem. We’ve got 48 hours before key meetings — let’s get a 2-million-person swarm to save the bees.

Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But in 48 hours the European Union could move to ban the most poisonous pesticides, and pave the way to a global ban that would save bees from extinction.

Four EU countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are already recovering. Days ago the official European food safety watchdog stated for the first time that certain pesticides are fatally harming bees. Now legal experts and European politicians are calling for an immediate ban. But Bayer and other giant pesticide producers are lobbying hard to keep them on the market. If we build a huge swarm of public outrage now, we can push the European Commission to put our health and our environment before the profit of a few.

Old 99 Farm Week of Jan 27 2013

First, this week is the annual mecca event for organic farming: the Guelph Organic Conference. I have booked myself to the day seminar on Community Orcharding on Thursday. So, Market day has to be moved to Friday. If that messes you up considerably, we’ll make arrangements to suit you.

Please keep those egg cartons coming in; my layers are keeping right up with the egg production, and we need sumthin to put them in.

Does anyone want 10lb of bacon from Gourmet Meats? I’m going to pick up my stash next week, ie before Feb6th. If you want to stock up, it’s great bacon, wood smoked and frozen. John charges $50 so I’ll pick up for you if you let me know by Tues Feb 5th.

Fresh greens are getting scarce in my greenhouse, as you’ll see but I have LOTS of mizuna. Last week several of you tried it. How was it? Well, this week it’s a two for one deal, but only if you promise to eat it all .

If you are curious about the Guelph Conference, go surf their website and see what’s offered. You can attend for free and cruise the very large trade show. or do the workshops for $40 a day. Well worth it, imo.

Mary Pipher notes that she thought that being lovable would be the most necessary attribute, but was incorrect – ultimately the ability to love others, to turn to selfless care of others is the single most important thing any of us can have as a kind of resilience. She sees this as also the best response to trauma – the raise (sic) in self-confidence and comfort when you can help another.
(The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community).
quoted on

Old 99 Farm, Week of Jan 20th 2013

Coldest weather of the year this week; today -20 at dawn. I checked the passive solar greenhouse min/max thermometer: went down to -10, but under the row cover the crops looked ok.

Speaking of crops, I have lots of mizuna, it’s very cold hardy and is even regrowing where already harvested. So MIZUNA is on special this week. 200 gram bunches (a large handful at the stem end) is 10% off last week’s $2/bunch price. Try it in smoothies, steamed, stirfried, in soups and stews.

Don’t forget I have honey from this summer’s hive production.

See you Thursday,

Old 99 Farm, Week of Jan13 2013

You would think spring had arrived this week, a frost out of the ground, big rainstorm and no snow. Very bad for the natural world, tho we like to chuckle about how easy it is to get around.

See for your orders this week. is a recent article on the milk scene.

Here’s an interesting recipe.

Farmer’s Cabbage and Mushroom Pie

This is a farmer’s pie: rustic, a little rude, and down-right delicious. Traditionally, the pie was set in the middle of the table and everyone, fork in hand, had at it. But you can serve it in slices to avoid fights over the last bits. Try crumbling a few slices of crispy bacon into the pie for even more flavor.

Source: Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables (Entered by Eric Wagoner)
Serves: 6 to 8

2 unbaked 9-inch pie crusts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms View Available Products
1 teaspoon fresh thyme View Available Products
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups chopped cabbage View Available Products
4 ounces farmers cheese or cream cheese View Available Products
Salt, pepper
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced View Available Products

Step by Step Instructions

Place one of the pie crusts into the bottom of a pie pan, making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of dough hanging over the edge. Refrigerate both top and bottom crust until you are ready to use. Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, thyme, and lemon juice. Add the cabbage, cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Layer half the cabbage mixture in the piecrust. Add a layer of sliced eggs. Top with remaining cabbage mixture. Moisten the overhanging edge of pie crust with water. Cover the pie with the top crust, sealing the edges with fingers. Bake until crust is browned on top, 30 to 40 minutes.

Thoughts for the week on climate

…why not start with the part of the problem about which you can actually do
something—your own consumption of fossil fuels and your own production of
carbon dioxide—and then go from there?

Political activism, community building, and a great many other proposed
responses to the crisis of our time are entirely valid and workable approaches
if those who pursue them start by making the changes in their own lives they
expect other people to make in turn. Lacking that foundation, they go nowhere.
It’s not even worth arguing any more about what happens when people try to get
other people to do the things they won’t do themselves; we’ve had decades of
that, it hasn’t helped, and it’s high time that the obvious lessons get drawn
from that fact. Once again, if you always do what you’ve always done…

That being said, here are some suggested New Year’s resolutions for those of my
readers who are interested in being part of the solution: and go to this URL

Old 99 Farm Week of Jan 6 2013

Order online at

Special on pastured ground beef this week; I’m offering 15% off the listed price. Good for sauces, patties, soups and casseroles.

Vegetable selection is finally shrinking, but still have greens and potatoes. Carrots have been slow to come to market size, so I’m holding off.

I still need lots of egg cartons, so please ask your neighbours to save for you and bring along to the farm.

Have you been following the Aerotropolis controversy? OMB hearings have started, to convert 4500 acres of farmland to industrial lands, on the premise that Hamilton doesn’t have enough vacant factory space and the airport/highway network will bring employment. Have you noticed what impact of energy/climate/world economy is having on investment decisions? High uncertainty leads to ‘wait and see’ investors. Maybe we need the farmland more than empty factory space.
Residents can get an update on the OMB dispute on Wednesday Jan 9th at 6 pm at a city hall meeting organized by the Hamilton Civic League. The OMB hearings are open to the public and are taking place in the Albion Room of the Convention Centre starting Monday, January 14 at 10 am.


Favourite climate science sources online

Healthy food news

Old 99 Farm, Week of Dec 23 2012

(Posted Wed 12/26)
I will be open tomorrow Thursday for anyone wishing some fresh vegetables, eggs and pastured meats. See Tomatoes are done for the year, likely the last week for peppers.

See for a source for your New Year’s Resolutions to live ‘as though we intended to stay’, on planet Earth.

best regards for you and your family,