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 17 2013

When I looked at the two week trend a week ago, we were expecting above average highs and lows. But it’s been the opposite and still is looking that way. My notes from prior years show I was expecting fruit tree bloom this week some years. Not this one.

But this has been the week for new life: 5 sets of twin lambs and one calf. I’m learning the lambing business fast! So far have one in the bathroom nursing from a bottle.

Vegetables, much easier to keep track of than lambs. Have some new spinach this week as well as the regulars.

I have organic roasting chickens, about 5lb weights. Place your order with the website.

I have had no inquiries about buying kitchen gear, like mincers, grinders, utensils. the website has lots to look at, but prices aren’t on line; you have to go to a retail site or even ebay to find.

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar10 2013

More greens this week. Regrowth kale and mizuna, chard.
Eggs still priced at a dollar off, that’s $4.50 for large, $5.50 for ex large.
Had the first lambs arrive, three so far but twins died at birth. I found it hard to take.

Read The Insatiable Bark Beetle by Reese Halter, if you’ve ever wondered about the impact of climate chaos on the natural world that sustains us. I just finished it; had me weeping and chuckling by turns.

Anyone check that website for kitchen utensils I posted last week? Thanks to a member, we can buy neat helpful stuff for food prep wholesale.

eat well,

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar 3rd, 2013

I’m adding a few greens back on the list, chard, onions, kale, in addition to the mizuna.

Lots of goose eggs, try a few, priced to be the same as chicken eggs per gram. I’m offering a dollar off the regular price for chicken eggs this week.

A regular member has offered to make available Norpro kitchen utensils at wholesale prices. You can go to the website, browse the categories, (lots) and prepare a list. In a couple of weeks we’ll see how large the order is, combined. Here’s the page for the meat grinder/pasta maker:

Did you read the excerpts on climate upset last week? Are you a climate denier or a climate “hawk”? In either case you might like to try this on for size: what stage, of the classic stages of grief model, are you at? What have you come through? What’s next?
The five stages of grief describes “a process by which people allegedly deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or catastrophic loss.” As Wikipedia puts it:

1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance

The great New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert perhaps best summed up this form of denial. Her three-part series, “The Climate of Man,” which became the terrific book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, famously ends:

It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.


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,