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 Apr 1 2020

Even a month ago I would not have anticipated the current conditions here in Canada and worldwide. Check my facebook page for what I select as high relevance news articles and science.

Old 99 is growing food. We have recently added two beeves in the freezers, stewing hens this week.
A new flock of 100 layers is settling in, already increasing our daily egg production. This time I bought white and brown layers, so your dozens will have a mix of both colours. Tell me if you can taste a difference! Dozens will be mixed size and weight, but averaging medium, large, extra large. Regular prices.

Nick LaMarsh is growing greenhouse and outdoor crops, he’s the market gardener for Old 99. He has onions, leeks, lettuces, claytonia, asian greens and much more in the ground. We all will be doing some growing, especially for the fall harvest and storage crops. Stay tuned for ways you might like to participate in that.

See the list at Locallygrown for what is available. Staples are kale, chard and collards among the greens. We are almost out of carrots, onions, potatoes and beets.

For your own gardens and flower beds I have mature composted ammended with rock flour (basalt), gypsum and volcanophos. The active microbial populations will boost the fertility of your gardens and increase the nutrient content of your produce. Available by the bag or bulk, delivery possible.

Remember: social distancing is going to make a big difference even when it looks like it isn’t, because the case load increases before it goes down. Many months ahead before we feel safe again. Wear your face masks, even homemade ones.
Here’s a quote from a Yale epidemiologist,
“In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results. It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how ‘one quick little get together’ can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does. I promise you it does. I promise. I promise. I promise. You can’t cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a “little”- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc.”

Healthy eating,
Ian and Cami
Nick and Angela

Old 99 Farm, week of Mar 1, 2020

We have not been running an active market for February, but now time is coming to invite you back to the farm for our winter storage vegetables (squashes, potatoes, onions, carrots) winter greens (collards, kales, chards, parsley) and soon, rhubarb and the first salad greens from the greenhouse.
I’d like you to come and meet Nick LaMarsh, who will be taking over the market garden and store from now on. He’s got lots of ideas for what to grow, how to cook it, and even preserve it by lacto-fermentation. He’s raising rabbits and broiler chickens first in the greenhouse and later on pasture. You can post your questions here on the blog, ask himi about Korean Natural Farming for instance.
We’re still keeping the Lynchlineback cows for breeding family milk cows and pastured beef. There are two animals in the freezer now as of Feb 1st. Nice selection of steaks, roasts, organs and ground beef.

Healthy Eating,
Ian, Cami, Nick and Angie

Week of Nov 4 2019 Straw delivery

You imagine how the cows enjoy clean dry straw for bedding, could you help for a couple hours thursday Nov 7th during the day? I’m getting a delivery thurs 9am.
I have a window to get it in the barn thurs and maybe friday. Only takes 2 – 4 hours if we have 4 people.

Market is open 4 to 6 friday for pickups or by request on the weekend
All vegetables as usual, plus eggs, beef and pork.

Please let me know what’s possible for you to help get the straw in the barn.

Thanks and healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Typo: not Oct 29 this week's memo Oct 20

Just in case you are wondering, the cider day is this sunday 27th. Weather now is calling for rain. Will proceed as best we can.
Let me know if you are planning to come and how many.
Veggie, egg meat etc pickup can be sunday.

Old 99 Farm, week of Oct 29 2019

We havested our squashes this weekend: have a good variety to choose from. Greens as usual: kale, chard, collards; rootcrops: carrots, potatoes, celeriac, beets, onions.
Herbs: thyme, basil, oregano, lovage, spearmint
Meats: beef, pork and stewing hens
Fruit: apples, cherry tomatoes.

I’m putting hay and straw in the barn on wednesday and could really use a few hands. If you can come for a couple hours in the morning or afternoon, I’d really appreciate it. (Barring rain of course)

Cider Day: this sunday we’ll be doing our traditional cider pressing with on farm apples or your own if you wish. Start 2pm, to 5pm. Also making lard and serving hot squash soup.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

OLd 99 Farm,week of Oct 20 Election week

We havested our squashes this weekend: have a good variety to choose from. Greens as usual: kale, chard, collards; rootcrops: carrots, potatoes, celeriac, beets, onions.
Herbs: thyme, basil, oregano, lovage, spearmint
Meats: beef, pork and stewing hens
Fruit: apples, cherry tomatoes.

I’m putting hay and straw in the barn on wednesday and could really use a few hands. If you can come for a couple hours in the morning or afternoon, I’d really appreciate it. (Barring rain of course)

Cider Day: this sunday we’ll be doing our traditional cider pressing with on farm apples or your own if you wish. Start 2pm, to 5pm. Also making lard and serving hot squash soup.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Friday Oct 18 why vote

On Monday, Canadians will be able to vote for what we want. Every single citizen even in our outdated and corrupted system, that counts for something; it is a right won by struggle.

So between now and then – please talk to everyone. Ask the server in the coffee shop, the barber – or hair dresser – the bus driver – the taxi driver – “Do you usually vote?

Talk to your best friend – the friend you have kept all these years because you never talk about politics. Now – talk about politics.

The only vote for meaningful climate action is a Green vote. IF you are looking for reasons, just consider these few news headlines of where we are going on Business As Usual basis.

Despite Their Promises, Giant Energy Companies Burn Away Vast Amounts of Natural Gas
SOURCE: New York Times
DATE: October 16, 2019

SNIP: When leaders from fossil-fuel executives met last week to declare they were serious about climate change, they cited progress in curbing an energy-wasting practice called flaring — the intentional burning of natural gas as companies drill faster than pipelines can move the energy away.
The practice has consequence for climate change because natural gas is a potent contributor to global warming. It also wastes vast amounts of energy: Last year in Texas, venting and flaring in the Permian Basin oil field alone consumed more natural gas than states like Arizona and South Carolina use in a year.

More stories and pictures like this at FasterThanExpected

Thousands of ships fitted with ‘cheat devices’ to divert poisonous pollution into sea
SOURCE: Independent DATE: September 29, 2019

SNIP: Global shipping companies have spent millions rigging vessels with “cheat devices” that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air, devices, known as open-loop scrubbers, which extract sulphur from the exhaust fumes of ships that run on heavy fuel oil.

However, the sulphur emitted by the ships is simply re-routed from the exhaust and expelled into the water around the ships, which not only greatly increases the volume of pollutants being pumped into the sea, but also increases carbon dioxide emissions.

The change could have a devastating effect on wildlife in British waters and around the world, experts have warned.

The ICCT has estimated that just cruise ships with scrubbers will consume around 4 million tons of heavy fuel oil in 2020 and will discharge 180 million tons of contaminated scrubber washwater overboard.

Aviation climate targets may drive 3 million hectares of deforestation
SOURCE: Rainforest Foundation Norway
DATE: October 1, 2019
The report concludes that this increased demand for palm oil and soy could drive 3.2 million hectares of tropical forest loss (an area larger than the size of Belgium) and 5 gigatons of land use change CO2 emissions (close to the current annual greenhouse gas emissions of the USA) in 2030,

Using the cheapest and most readily available technology would lead to an additional demand in 2030 of 35 million tons of palm oil, 3.5 million tons of palm oil by-products (PFAD), and 35 million tons of soy oil. For comparison, the current global annual production of palm oil globally is around 70 million tons.

The report reviews the status of the targets the aviation industry has set for alternative fuels and shows how high the risk is that expanding biofuel use in aviation will cause the last thing the world wants or needs right now: increased deforestation.

The aviation industry has set an aspirational goal to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50 percent in 2050 (compared to 2005), without limiting growth. Central to this vision is a near complete shift from conventional jet fuel to alternative aviation fuels. Near total replacement of fossil fuel would be needed to meet this target.

River Flows All Across the Globe Are Dropping
SOURCE: Bloomberg
DATE: October 2, 2019

SNIP: Another slow-motion, man-made environmental disaster has been discovered, and it’s underneath your feet.

About 70% of the water pumped out of underground aquifers worldwide is used for agriculture while much of the remainder quenches the thirst of cities. As industrial development spreads at a speedy clip, the rate at which those critical reservoirs are emptied is far outpacing the rate at which they are naturally replenished.

The sea is running out of fish, despite nations’ pledges to stop it
SOURCE: National Geographic
DATE: October 8, 2019

SNIP: As global fish stocks that feed hundreds of millions of people dwindle, nations are scrambling to finalize by year’s end an international agreement to ban government subsidies that fuel overfishing.

Yet as negotiations at the World Trade Organization resume this week in Geneva, Switzerland, new research shows that governments have actually increased financial support for fishing practices that decimate marine life, despite public pledges to curtail such handouts.

Oil firms to pour extra 7m barrels per day into markets, data shows
SOURCE: The Guardian
DATE: October 10, 2019

SNIP: The world’s 50 biggest oil companies are poised to flood markets with an additional 7m barrels per day over the next decade, despite warnings from scientists that this will push global heating towards catastrophic levels. the Guardian forecasts Shell and ExxonMobil will be among the leaders with a projected production increase of more than 35% between 2018 and 2030 – a sharper rise than over the previous 12 years.

Billions face food, water shortages over next 30 years as nature fails
SOURCE: National Geographic
DATE: October 10, 2019

SNIP: As many as five billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, are likely to face shortages of food and clean water in the coming decades as nature declines. Hundreds of millions more could be vulnerable to increased risks of severe coastal storms, according to the first-ever model examining how nature and humans can survive together.

No choice but to invest in oil, Shell CEO says
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE: October 14, 2019

SNIP: Royal Dutch Shell still sees abundant opportunity to make money from oil and gas in coming decades even as investors and governments increase pressure on energy companies over climate change, its chief executive said.

Shell supplies around 3% of the world’s energy, “Despite what a lot of activists say, it is entirely legitimate to invest in oil and gas because the world demands it,” van Beurden said.

See you on market day next week, in a brand new world!
Healthy eating
Ian and Cami Graham

Old 99 farm week of Oct 6, 2019

We have a new crop of swiss chard, marvelous large succulent leaves. Seems when you grow plants with larger spacing or they selfseed where they want to be, they grow better. Try and see.

Other greens: collards, kale, chicory, parsley.
Herbs: thyme, dill, basil, oregano, sage, tarragon, cicely, lovage. all fresh, piced to order.
Eggs: still three for two, or $5/doz.

Meats: beef steaks on special, 15% off. 20lb mixed pack best buy.
Pork: chops and roasts, bones and lard
Chicken: stewing hens.

Is anyone ready to place order for half or quarter beef? when I have two, I’ll take the animal to butcher.

The big week for Extinction Rebellion has started. Over sixty cities including in Canada have mass citizen action to demand governments tell the truth about climate emergency and act accordingly. See and the international website here

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami Graham

OLd99 farm, week of Oct1 2019

Late reminder, we have veggies, greens and roots, apples and asian pears. Eggs and meats: beef, pork and chicken.
Please check the website for specials.

Healthy eating
Ian and Cami

Climate Emergency update (clck on for easy graphic comparison)
Where would our federal parties take us? These results paint a stark picture. Despite lofty claims and aspirational goals, there is no Canadian plan consistent with avoiding 1.5°C or 2°C warming. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, the rhetoric of your party on climate change does not match the numbers.

The New Democratic Party’s proposed targets for 2030 (38 percent reduction below 2005 levels) and those of the Green Party (60 percent reduction below 2005 levels) are more stringent than the current federal target.

The Green Party’s target is closest to being consistent with a 2°C trajectory. However, no party platform includes modelling that shows how these targets would be achieved.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said his party would stick to the existing federal target. But the Conservative Party’s climate plan document, which contains neither carbon pricing nor regulations, would place Canada in the range of a 4°C (or more) greenhouse gas emissions trajectory.

Canada’s current and proposed (Liberal) federal policies lie within the range of what’s necessary to avoid 3°C of global warming, using modelling from Environment and Climate Change Canada submitted to the United Nations. These policies are not sufficient to meet the federal target of a 30 percent reduction below 2005 levels.

IG: remember, IPCC projections are biased to the conservative side because the peer review process is slow, so current research cannot be used, scientists are trained to be reticent about drawing conclusions, and policy makers use a summary that is negotiated by many parties. Actual climate observations are all worse than projections; there is no good news.
(Full article at Policy Options, published by Institute for Research on Public Policy)

Old 99 Farm, Wedding week

Yes the store is open this week, place your orders, come after 4 friday or on Saturday/Sunday.

I’m pretty well booked with Climate events this week, as you know it’s the international movement of Fridays4theFuture. Come to Gore Park tomorrow friday noon onwards with all your friends to be in solidarity with students who know their future is jeopardized by carbon fueled growth economics. See more below. Watch the news and online for Extinction Rebellion mass mobilizations of everyday people protesting government duplicity and inaction.
Climate Emergency has begun.

healthy eating,
Ian and Camelia Graham

From Hamilton 350:
Last Friday over four million people in over 150 countries marched for climate action, including a contingent in Hamilton. But the big Canadian push is for this coming Friday including a noon rally at Gore Park. Even McMaster University is formally promoting it and local employers like Mountain Equipment Coop, Coffee Ecology and Green Venture will close their doors so their staff can attend.

Swedish teen Greta Thunberg who launched the Friday student strikes a year ago will join marchers in Montreal on Friday. On Monday she set the tone with a blunt speech (video and transcript) to world leaders at the United Nations that has already been viewed by millions.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” declared Thunberg. “And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”