Grilled Cheese! Rodney, our younger son, will be launching his grilled cheese booth alongside our normal booth. Starting small, he’ll need feedback on where to take this new superfood. Did you know the United Nations has announced that the first all local ready to eat food item at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is to be the new superfood for 2016, eclipsing quinoa in nutrients by 10 fold. Kim is baking all the bread from our own organic red fife wheat. She is also suppling Rodney with her fancy Dijon Ketchup, made with no sugar, just some of our maple syrup.

We will  be at  Lansdowne this Sunday Aug. 30th. We will also be at our store from noon to 3.  Honey is back, after a long winter, our beekeeper, Brent, finally squeezed out some honey for us from our hives. They survived the winter very well, but last year’s honey ran out over the winter.  Egg production is low, so we are limiting families to 2 dozens each, and still first come, first served. We are harvesting now, grease, oil, and repairs are what we do a good chunk of the day. I have an interesting letter which needs your support in our “news”section. For now, here goes my rant:

We are harvesting  and like clockwork, the monster boom sprayers have come out again. But the harvest is almost ready, cannot the crop survive another week till harvest? Desiccant spraying it’s called. A topic I first learned about roughly 15 years ago. I was at a Canadian Wheat board meeting in our local town. The discussion revolved around the issue of how great desiccant spraying was. Roundup herbicide is sprayed on wheat just before harvest to kill any remaining plants as well as to burn down any weeds. This shocked me because I know that the wheat in the head of the grain is dry, dead, and ready to eat. All of the spikelets and husks channel anything coming from above all onto the wheat berries themselves. I asked the question, “Is there a minimum amount of time before harvest at which one could spray the roundup?”. Their dull stares, similar to that of a CAFO dairy cow, not our Whinnie, led me to believe they could not fathom a reason why not to spray it,  for it made harvest easier. Spray residue does not exist in their minds, but I knew it sure did in the buns of the sandwiches we were wolfing down like pigs at a free food cafeteria. Always be leary of free lunches, as Joel Salatin says, harking back to when he was courted to feed ground up carryon to his cows by the USDA which later made the CAFO cow industry a little “mad”. The difference is important, the roundup was being sprayed on ready to eat food. Sure I know, food is sprayed at every port and shipping terminal it enters, but this was different, I was being persuaded to spray it on the food I was selling direct to the consumer. At the time, I was farming conventionally, had not converted to organic yet, and believed that any spray which touched the plant at a very young stage would be almost non-existent at harvest. Later, as part of my conversion to organic, I learned that there were tests that could detect spray applied at any stage of its growth. Sure I was naive, but not stupid. Their “dairy cow” stares, frightened me.

CAFO meat is a choice, pastured is another, to test,  always ask what breed of cow your steak was from, ask what colour, what sex. If you also get a dull “dairy cow” stare from the kid behind the counter, then what can you be assured of.

Desiccant Spraying is serious, it exposes you to a whole different world of untested experimentation, which you just happen to be taking part in.

I hope you guys don’t think I go too far, I just feel, we all need to know, straight up, just how messed up things have become. Demand from your local bread baker, use organic, use local.

Thanks for listening to this week’s rant.

 

 

Our pork is different from everyone else’s because of what we do not feed. No GMO’s, no corn or soy, not even conventional corn or soy.  We feed Red Fife Hard Red Spring Organic Wheat, sprouted barley (half organic), veggies (half organic), organic bread, raw organic milk, whey. Their first and only bad day occurs 4 miles from our house. We will have all sorts of options at the farmers’ market and at our store every Sunday.

Egg production is really up now that the sun has returned. We desperately need empty egg cartons, please bring all you can if you visit the farm or our booth at the farmers’ market. Free bar of $5 soap for every 25 empty cartons.

 

Soap, darn beautiful Potty Mouth Fudge Soap is what Kim has in store for you now. Tasty it may look, but it is actually for bathing. She has 6 different essential oil scented soaps, 6 for $20, or 1 for $5. We like to honour bulk buying. We have no time for bows, ribbons, wrappers, and sparkles, just beautiful soap whose oatmeal exfoliates like no other. If you want real evidence, just feel my cheeks, like a baby’s bottom.

We are back at Lansdowne Park, indoors,  Sundays from 10-3, over the winter. The sunlight in the Aberdeen Pavilion streams from end to end and rotates from sunrise as we are setting up, to sunset as we pack up. There is no more beautiful venue for a market than the original market. Ottawa has been given a choice now for opting for the food of their choice all winter.  We will continue to specialize in our oats. We will have once and twice rolled, steel cut and groats. There is no simpler, cheaper, and healthier meal than a comfort meal of oat groats and a pork hock. Hocks can also be substituted for chicken. We cannot bring our pastured eggs and chicken to market, sorry. They’re both available at our store.

Our store will be open from noon to 3.  Eggs, pork loins, ribs, and chickens will be available along with our famous oats.   We have had incredible interest in our pastured eggs lately. Our hens are now producing well, we should have enough to last at least an hour this week.   Because our provincially regulated limit of hens is 100, a ridiculously low amount, we are looking into hen shares.  A program whereby, you buy the hen and hire us to take care of them and collect the eggs for you.  This is still probably illegal, if you are willing to become a co-conspirator in a righteous fight to obtain great eggs, come talk to us.  As my favourite farmer Troy Roush says “farmers are ingenious people, if you demand good food, we’ll supply it, come talk to us”, and as I add “until then….., well by the looks of the grocery store shelves, you’ll get what you are currently demanding”.   Our store is stocked up with lots of maple syrup.  No white sugar added.  Come inspect our whole syrup setup from tree to bottle.  We bottle in mason jars for your final inspection.   Remember, All Bran Cereal is over 30 percent sugar and it’s one of the healthy ones!  Never underestimate the ingenuity of the food industry to look out for their own interests.

Our new PLESSISVILLE FORANO “1920′s” grain cleaner is working well. What a job to get it going, every night for two months we have tinkered with it, new wood parts, pulleys, flat belts, brushes etc, all hand made and custom. We purchased a Carter Disc and that machine has really helped up remove weed seeds of the same diameter as grains and also separates out hulled oats from hulless.  Boy what did we do without it, when running some winter wheat through it, all of the small black seeds(you know them) fall out in the first output.  In total, we have 11 bags of cleanings before be get out finished product out, what a dream.  At this rate we’ll have our grain cleaning done in three days.  Last year, I estimate that we spent 60 days, yeah, and don’t forget its our sixth year with the old cleaner.  That represents one year of cleaning, a year out of my life.   Our farm store is open this sunday from noon to 3pm.   We need our buckets back, if you have ever purchased bulk grain from us and forgot to return the bucket we need them back.  We do not have GPS trackers on the empty buckets, but we will find them eventually. We do not want to start charging deposits. A wonderful thing has happened, the buckets are returning, and we thank you. Our store in Metcalfe will also be open this Sunday. Metcalfe is the village just after Greely in the south of Ottawa, we are 20 minutes from South Keys area and 20 minutes from downtown via the 417, exit Anderson and head south.

Trespassers are welcome – our farm is open to the public on Sunday afternoons from noon to 3pm.  We raise chickens, eggs, pigs, very limited supply of beef from one of our dairy cows and most importantly grain.  We process our grain into flour and rolled/steel cut oats right in front of you. Our animals are moved daily onto a fresh piece of grass. We hope we can help you in your food choices and can recommend other producers who “get it”. Here is a great chef who sums up how and why we farm.  “We are not farming like your grandfather, we are farming like our children are going to have to”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqOGfg3oflA  Here is our combine, harvesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnneMoTCSs For a laugh, watch this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtncN5PvJLY For another laugh, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pDTiFkXgEE