Knee High by the 4th of July

Hello Friends,

We have officially given up on predicting the weather. The heatwave that has settled over our region this month and in June has greatly limited the amount of work we can do at the farm. It is also convenient for me to blame the heat for my late blog post. Anyhow, the next few months will be an exciting time. We are working with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) on a farmer-led research project that will determine the most efficient organic (or organic alternative) spray for our black walnut orchard for pest management. We have already begun a coordinated alternating spray schedule, observations, and maintenance of the farm. Our conclusions will be published and we may have the opportunity to present our findings at a conference in December. For more information about farmer-led research and our project in particular with the EFAO click here.

Our market garden and water well have been put on hold this year as we have purchased a fine food retail storefront called Seasons Fine Foods. The new business is very time consuming but we are still dedicated to building the farm and bringing genuinely local produce to the people of Napanee and surrounding area. We have made some fantastic connections with farmers across Lennox & Addington County and in Prince Edward County and beyond. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to showcase the hard work and amazing produce that farmers are bringing to a table near you. It won’t be long until our very own produce makes its way to the shelves of our new store.

Here is a picture update for May, June and July to show you what has been going on at the farm.



Sitting on the fence

These past few months we have been swinging for the fence. Building a fence has been an integral part of our vision and design for a sustainable garden on site. A part of that design is to ensure that we can protect our garden from the many wonderful and curious animals that also share our farm. Our thought process after completing our outbuilding was to have a small garden attached to the building and eventually outfit the structure with equipment and accessories needed to process our organic produce for market. Just in case you’re wondering, we will be installing a double steel door from the building into the garden for easy access.

The fence itself is 100 feet long by 30 feet wide (matching the width of the building). The fence is 8 feet high with approximately 8 feet between posts (although there is some variance due to the double gate at rear and a side gate as well). The cost of materials with the assistance of a few hours of labour was approximately $4,500. The posts have concrete footings to reinforce and increase the stability and longesvity of the fence overall. The wildlife fence mesh was put in place to keep larger animals like deer, coyotes, and wild turkeys at bay. If at any time wildlife does become a problem we can always install a solar electric fence as well.

Here are some photos from the building process:


Speaking of fences, we also took the opportunity to clear a path through our first field into our second field. Most of our fields are seperated by a treeline but also have about 150 years worth of rocks piled high by generations of farmers who removed rocks from the fields. We are beginning to work more actively in our second field (approx. 4 acres) and needed a more direct path for machinery and tools to enter the second field. At present we need to go to the northwestern corner of the first field to bypass the rocky seperation between fields. This solution now remedies the situation.

Here are some photos of the process of clearing a path between the old rocky treeline and our second field:


Update: Playing cat and mouse

The other day while we were clearing and cleaning out our new structure we came across a little friend who thought that we built the entire structure just for her. This cute little squatter had to be evicted but we promise that it was done in a friendly way. She scurried back into the field. Needless to say her rent cheque bounced.