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 3 2019


Posted Friday am, just in case some of you are wondering if I sold out last week!

Another cold front hit us this week, normal temp range is -2 to -10 and we’re registering -20 this morning.
The greens are growing, now that we have 10hrs+ sunlight a day, the plants are waking up. Fresh greens on the menu, local and tender: kale, spinach, collards, chard, lettuce. See the online store for all items.
The beef special is held over, still offering 15% off the price of 20lb pack and the quarter.
Pork halves and quarters are available now to place your order, pork born and raised here, fed organic, no medications or GMO. Deposit $50.
Eggs, we will hold over the three for two deal again. Please consider helping your farmer get some local profile: give a dozen eggs to a friend or neighbour and tell them where they come from!

I’m doing a talk on Climate Emergency at the Westdale Library tomorrow Saturday at 11am with discussion at 12 about the Extinction Rebellion movement worldwide. You can register at Eventbrite by clicking the link above.

Artists for Climate Action Apr 13-12 at Spice Factory
AFCA is a group of local Artists makers and creators who have come together compelled to stop and reverse this senseless destruction. Creating awareness and creating action to motivate Hamilton to play its part in tackling the greatest existential threat humankind has ever faced.

It feels appropriate to end with this quote from former Justice Minister and truth-tell, Jody Wilson-Rambo-uld at her testimony on the Lavallin bribery scandal hearing:
“I will conclude by saying this. I was taught to always be careful of what you say — because you cannot take it back — and I was taught to always hold true to your core values and principles and to act with integrity. These are the teachings of my parents, grandparents and community. I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller in accordance with the laws and traditions of our Big House — this is who I am and who I will always be.”

Old 99 Farm, week of Feb 24 2019


Another cold front hitting us this week, normal temp range is -2 to -10 and we’re headed for -19.
The greens are growing, now that we have 10hrs+ sunlight a day, the plants are waking up. Fresh greens on the menu, local and tender: kale, spinach, collards, chard, lettuce. See the online store for all items.
The beef special is held over, still offering 15% off the price of 20lb pack and the quarter.
Eggs, have to reluctantly put out the three for two deal again, those hens are back to laying as they should. Please consider helping your farmer get some local profile: give a dozen eggs to a friend or neighbour and tell them where they come from!

I was at the National Farmers Union Ontario division annual meeting last thurs/friday. Was it ever a well done event! the Gray/Simcoe county local hosted it in Alliston, food was provided from local sources, movie nite documentary was called Disconnected, by Egyptian-Canadian film-maker Tamer Soliman. About modern culture’s expanding loneliness and anomie, and what to do about it. We learned about a grassroots project, Soil Health Coalition, showing farmers who to increase the soil organic matter and related benefits of yield, nutrition, eco-system services. NFU-O is the most progressive of the three farm organizations, is active largely on the policy front and also engaging urbanites in the food growing community. You might consider joining!. Only $75 to support the most progressive, climate-change aware, local community boosting farm org. “While our farmer members have the supply side down, many of our foodie members are championing the demand side of the equation. Our organization takes on projects that help to support you in your advocacy for local, sustainable food. We connect with allies in education, health care, and urban communities so that they know they have the support of local farmers as they champion more local food in their daily lives.”

Greenbelt and landuse planning changes proposed by PC Ontario Government. Only till midnight Feb 28 to send in comments to growthplanning@ontario.ca. Include that you are commenting on Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2017. Environment Hamilton has posted their comments on their website at STOP SPRAWL which you can use for your guidance. One key issue I’m aware of: the government wants to make it easy for municipalities to convert farmland to subdivisions, so they propose that individual farms can be rezoned without considering if they are in the Greenbelt or ecologically sensitive areas.

Climate Emergency
I’m giving a talk on March 15 at the Langford Schoolhouse on the climate emergency. It’s a potluck and social event as well as intended to bring you up to speed on the reality of abrupt climate change risk and what must be done. More details next week, but mark the date!

Young Farmers Convergence
I just learned there are still spots open and bursaries available for this three day event Mar 5-7. If you know anyone under the age of 36 who wants to grow a career in farming, or is one starting up and needs help finding land, this is the place to be. Additional questions can be sent to Ayla Fenton, at nfuyouth@nfu.ca or aylafenton90@gmail.com.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) Youth and in partnership with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario is planning for the 2019 Young Farmer Convergence! The purpose for the gathering is to offer young farmers workshops, planning and skill-sharing. Our mission is to build capacity for young farmers to be part of an effective social movement and empower them with tools to employ creative solutions to the challenges posed by climate change! This event will bring together dozens of young farmers chosen from around Canada. Successful participants will learn about political organizing and social movements, climate action and agriculture and indigenous solidarity in the context of farming.
https://youngagrarians.org/nfu-2019-young-farmer-convergence-apply-attend/

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 Farm week of Feb 10 2019


Quick message: all freezers are full of my grass fed organic beef. To get you to try it, take 15% off the price. you’ll see. It’s worth it.
and greens and eggs and chicken and pork.
come and get it.
ig

OLd 99 Farm week of Feb 3 2019


Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo
- collards, carrots, lettuce
- beef: ground, stew and roasts, special 15% off.
including two 30 month old steers just back from the butcher, boxed as mixed quarters, also 15% off
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- potatoes
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced
Soon we’ll have spinach, chard, kale as the days lengthen, the plants now in the soil in the greenhouse will put out a burst of growth.

We got through the cold snap, minus 28C and all, with the vegetables in the Hobbit greenhouse still alive and well. Don’t has how much firewood I had to lug in there every three hours at night!

I’m doing a townhall meeting Wed evening Feb 6th at 8pm on Climate Emergency Here and Now, what to do??? Come get up to date information and start considering how to be part of the solution, be the change the earth needs us to be. Co-sponsored by Lions Club, Hamilton 350 and National Farmer Union – Ontario. Located at Copetown Community Centre.

Check this video lecture by my favorite climate scientist Kevin Anderson who tells it like it is to students at Oxford University in Jan 2019.

Old 99 FArm, week of Jan 20 2019


I’ve been nursing a crop of buttercrunch lettuce through the winter so far with success, but this cold snap is likely going to be the coup de gras. Order lettuce week! I’ll leave the roots in the ground for second crop.

Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo
- collards, carrots, lettuce
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

Today Tuesday I took two steers to the butcher so will have full freezers next week. If you want a half or quarter cut to your specifications, please let me know by next Tuesday. All beef on special 15% off.
I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed.

The hens are reacting to the cold by cutting the rate of lay by 3/4s. Never seen this drastic drop before.

Yea, Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Jan 13 2019


Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo THREE FOR TWO special now on
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. Offer 15% discount off all beef prices this month. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork in winter though).

Healthy Eating
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Jan 6 2019


Well it’s the first week of 2019, New Year’s eve come and gone, no snow on the ground, no frost in the ground.
Here’s what we have this week:
- eggs, mostly XL and Jumbo THREE FOR TWO special now on
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. We offer a 50lb pack as well. Offer 15% discount off all beef prices this month. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork).

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami

More on the Adaptive Cycle


From the same article, The Big Picture, by Richard Heinberg in Resilence.org.
IG, Dec 24, 2018.

(I fixed the graphic so it fits.)
Why Civilizations Collapse: The Adaptive Cycle

Ecosystems have been observed almost universally to repeatedly pass through four phases of the adaptive cycle: exploitation, conservation, release, and reorganization. Imagine, for example, a Ponderosa pine forest. Following a disturbance such as a fire (in which stored carbon is released into the environment), hardy and adaptable “pioneer” species of plants and small animals fill in open niches and reproduce rapidly.

This reorganization phase of the cycle soon transitions to an exploitation phase, in which those species that can take advantage of relationships with other species start to dominate. These relationships make the system more stable, but at the expense of diversity.

During the conservation phase, resources like nutrients, water, and sunlight are so taken up by the dominant species that the system as a whole eventually loses its flexibility to deal with changing conditions. These trends lead to a point where the system is susceptible to a crash—a release phase. Many trees die, dispersing their nutrients, opening the forest canopy to let more light in, and providing habitat for shrubs and small animals. The cycle starts over.

This model has been applied to social systems as well as ecological ones. So the obvious question is, has the cycle started over for technological civilization?

There is a short essay by Naomi Oreskes, Cultural Historian at Harvard U, called The Collapse of Western Civilization, set in the year 2320 in the Second People’s Republic of China. It is available online too.

Old99 Farm, week of Dec 23 2018


We are past the solstice, shortest day of the year! yeah, wonderful.

This week we have:
- collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions
- celeriac
- stone ground flour: wheat
- lard, rendered or minced

I’m taking orders for sides or quarters of beef, and for pork. $100 deposit for a side or a whole, $50 for a quarter. This is all meat we raised here on the farm, organic, grass fed (not pork).

I’d like to append the key points from Richard Heineberg’s recent essay on Resilience.org. It very much affirms my own thinking about how to respond as a good citizen to the climate crisis, among the rest of them.
Humanity has a lot of problems these days. Climate change, increasing economic inequality, crashing biodiversity, political polarization, and a global debt bubble are just a few’ If all this is true, then we now face more-or-less inevitable economic, social, political, and ecological calamity.
How much harder must it be to acknowledge signs of the imminent passing of one’s entire way of life, and the extreme disruption of familiar ecosystems? It is therefore no wonder that so many of us opt for denial and distraction.
It may be possible to intervene in collapse to improve outcomes—for ourselves, our communities, our species, and thousands of other species. I like to think so.

The Big Picture (an understanding of the adaptive cycle, the role of energy, and our overshoot predicament) adds both a sense of urgency, and also a new set of priorities that are currently being neglected. Picture a mobius strip, in a box with four quandrants.

It is entirely possible,that we humans are rapidly evolving to live more peacefully in larger groups. If so, then what plan for action makes the most sense in the context of the Big Picture, given our meager organizational resources?

Post-carbon Institute, Heineberg’s outfit came up with a four-fold strategy.

1) Encourage resilience building at the community level.

2)Leave good ideas lying around.
The key to taking advantage of crises is having effective system-changing plans waiting in the wings for the ripe moment One collection of ideas and skills that’s already handily packaged and awaiting adoption is permaculture. Another set consists of consensus decision-making skills.

3)Target innovators and early adopters.
Innovators are important, but the success of their efforts depends on diffusion of the innovation among early adopters, who tend to be few in number but exceptionally influential in the general population.

4)Help people grasp the Big Picture.
Discussions about the vulnerability of civilization to collapse are not for everyone. Some of us are too psychologically fragile but for those able to take in the information and still function, the Big Picture offers helpful perspective. It confirms what many of us already intuitively know. And it provides a context for strategic action.
Neuroscience also offers good news: it teaches us that cooperative impulses are rooted deep in our evolutionary past, just like competitive ones. by pulling together that we can hope to salvage and protect what is most intrinsically valuable about our world, and perhaps even
improve lives over the long term.
The one thing that is most likely to influence how our communities get through the coming meta-crisis is the quality of relationships among members. A great deal depends on whether we exhibit pro-social attitudes and responses.

Hard times are in store. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do. Each day of relative normalcy that remains is an occasion for thankfulness and an opportunity for action.

Healthy eating, healthy community building, healthy outlook!
Ian and Cami

Old 99 farm, week of Dec 17 2018


This week we have:
- kale, collards, carrots, cabbage
- beef: ground, stew and roasts
- pork: all cuts including smoked items
- chicken: roasting and stewing hens
- parsley
- potatoes, onions, garlic
- celeriac
- stone ground flour: wheat
- lard, rendered or minced
- apple cider pressed here, frozen

Egg special still on, buy two dozen, get three. Get your xmas baking done with farm fresh eggs.

Climate summit COP24 in Poland now over; rules for ensuring the Paris Agreement have mostly been settled, but the timeline is stretched out way past the critical period of the next three years. Rules are legally binding but no sanctions or penalties are prescribed.

My latest find on the internet for those wanting to get the full story so you can plan accordingly: DoomisforDummies

Some Al Gore quotes from an recent interview on why he is still optimistic about humanity’s capacity to stabilize climate:
…to repeat myself, my assumption that we will summon the requisite political will to really accelerate these changes is the basis for my optimism.
I refuse to believe, in other words, that we as human beings are somehow destined, by our nature, to destroy ourselves.

We are in dire need of changing common agricultural practices anyway, because we’re depleting topsoils at an unsustainable rate. We can’t continue with this Roundup fiasco.
The two-thirds and more of the American people that have had enough of Donald J. Trump are hearing and seeing him spout climate denial in his own uniquely offensive manner.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami