I’ve had a lot going on in the past few weeks and so, although my body has been at the farm, my mind and heart have been a million miles away. However, this week I finally feel like they have come back to me.
It’s been a beautiful week and I have regained the appreciation I had at the beginning of the summer. I recently posted pictures on Facebook (it takes forever to upload them to the blog) of the summer so far and I feel so lucky to have green trees and blue skies as my office. Even when the skies are grey and the rain is falling down on us, it is still so peaceful. Even though we are busy harvesting, and don’t have much time to spare, every now and then I take a moment to simply take in my surroundings and be thankful.
We are now harvesting 3 times a week in comparison to 2. We used to only harvest on Wednesday and Friday, but we have begun harvesting on Tuesdays as well, in order to get everything done for the CSA pick up on time. We have been harvesting carrots, beet, potatoes and beans for a while now. But just those 4 items take us a whole day to harvest. The rest of the harvest (cucumbers, zucchinis, onions, lettuce mix and herbs etc) we do Wednesday, as well as washing and bagging.
Unfortunately there will be no tomatoes for our CSA or market this summer because they have caught blight! It is a soil borne disease which has affected other farmers as well. It’s very sad. We all mourn the loss of our tomatoes, but we have been able to rescue a few cherry tomatoes that taste absolutely delicious. Not only is it a huge crop, people love it and it sells well, but it is also a crop that we put a lot of effort into, especially Johnny. We trellised our tomatoes and therefore had to stake into the ground over 200 6 ft stakes. Us girls hammered in about 3 stakes each, but Johnny did the rest. It was tough work. But alas, shit happens (as they say) and you just have to roll with the punches. And so we continue on.
Now that my heads back in the game, I have become very excited about my plans for the future. I have been meaning to mention them for awhile but I always babble on about something else and therefore don’t get around to it. So here it is.
People keep asking me what I’m going to do after the farm. As much as things are always up in the air with me, here’s what I plan on doing.
First: come back and get a job. Either with Equiterre, Lufa Farms or an organic grocery store in Montreal (or any other job related to food and the environment really). I am simply looking for something that will pay the bills and give me time to continue learning about growing food, especially in the urban and suburban setting. I want to read up on backyard gardening (smaller scale than market gardening), hyroponics, aquaponics, growing indoors and making the most of a small space.
Once I get a job nailed down I will be able to move out and really get to experience “city living” for the first time in my life. I plan on making friends with my neighbours by giving them food or inviting them over for dinner. I hope to become part of the community, wherever I am, and take part in a community garden.
My big goal however is to use the piece of land beside our neighbours house in Two-Mountains to build a decent sized garden. I figure I’ll have about 100+ square meters to work with. I hope to be able to provide enough fresh veg for 2 families for the whole summer as well as have extra for storage and canning. And if there’s even more than I’ll be giving it away to whoever wants.
If all goes well and I am confident in my abilities then I look forward to starting up gardens for others as well. Every book I’ve read about gardening emphasizes how important the start up is. Planning and design are key. It just so happens that I love to plan things. I think I spent more time planning and organizing when I was going to do my homework in university than actually doing my homework.
So far I have figured out which fruits and vegetables I would like to grow and about how much of everything I would like to have. With that knowledge, as well as how much space each plant takes up, I can start juggling things around in order to determine how I am going to lay things out.
But yes, I hope that after a summer of gardening on my own I will have gained the confidence to help others start their own indoor and/or outdoor gardens. I could in the future have a larger operation and sell healthy organic food to others, but what I would like even more is to teach others how to grow healthy organic food themselves and we can all become self sufficient together (and live happily ever after).