Monday, November 12, 2007

Start at the Beginning

I started this blog about three weeks ago with the help of my friend Brandy who was visiting us with her husband Dave. There has really been no rhyme or reason to the blog so I thought I should start from the beginning. Derek and I bought our farm in the fall of 2006 after a long and tiring search. We are located in the hills of Brookvale along route 13 which is pretty much central Prince Edward Island. We are in our second year of transition to organic certification and grow a variety of vegetables which we sell at the Summerside Farmers Market, through our newly developed community shared agriculture (CSA) program, at the Village Store in Bedeque and through e-mail requests.

Broccoli ready for harvest - yummy

We have been what you might call "weekend farmers" as we both work full time off the farm. Starting this April 08 I (Jen) will be leaving my job to start farming full time during the spring, summer and fall months. I am very excited about this new journey in my life and I am sure I will have lots of posts to come describing the fun and trials to be had in the life of a full time farmer. I grew up on a farm near Summerside so I have seen first hand the long hours and daily commitment it takes to grow food for others but it'll be a little different now that its me making the bulk of the decisions, of course Derek will help some too : )
Derek and I spending time working in the woods

We have five horses but only three currently live here with us on the farm. Buddy, Marge and Burny are all retired race horses and are living the good life basically being very efficient lawn mowers. JP and Storm are still living at my home farm as we have not yet made enough room for them here on the new farm. Our current barns are not setup for five horses so they will be staying on the home farm until new and better housing arrangements can be made.

Our model "Burny"

We have two cats, Jazz and Lilly and any other strays which often stop in to steal their food. Jazz is an older female is all business and is very focused on hunting mice and stalking birds. Jazz had been gone from the farm for 11 days and we thought she had gone to kitty heaven but last week she returned very skinny but alive!! Lilly is really still a baby in all aspects. She loves to play with rocks, tiny potatoes, strings, butterflies but does not yet seem to have much interest in mice. Jazz is a good teacher but is a little short on patience.

I have lots more to write about but I must get outside and start working on the long list of chores which will not get done without me.

Untill later, keep warm and eat veggies!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

This is our cat Lilly when she was a baby, so cute!!

Another week gone again!! Friday can never come too soon these days. Best news of all though is that last night our cat Jazz came back. She's alot skinnier but pretty good other wise. I really do wonder where she went too, silly kitty. I'm just glad she's back. Lilly and Jazz were both curled up last night on the couch wtih Derek, it was too cute.

Derek started to move the topsoil around a bit for the greenhouse we are hopefully going to be putting up soon, if the weather cooperates. Boomer didn't have the greatest forecast tonight so we'll have to wait and see.

We got 20lb of ground beef tonight from our neighbours and Derek is busy making patties for winter use. He's so handy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November Farm Update

Welcome to the November Farm Newsletter

We were successfully able to survive the wild and windy weather from the weekend. We managed to get by with practically no damage and were only without power for seven hours which helped us to get caught up with overdue house chores. Activity on the farm has slowed down considerabley and we're enjoying the shift in pace. The only thing actually left in the garden is a bit of lettuce mix that has been hit pretty hard the last week with heavey frosts. What a wonderful fall though, still harvesting lettuce mix into November!!!

Now that we are not spending all of our time harvesting and getting ready for the market we tend to spend a lot of time in the woods exploring and cutting firewood for next season. Our woods is such a peacefull and wonderful place to be. We always find something new everytime we go back, whether it be another logging trail that we haven't been on or a new section with future possibilities of firewood cutting.

Unfortunatly our greenhouse construction has not happenend and it looks like it won't be happening until the spring. Even though the fall was beautiful the windy and wet weather seems to have arrived which makes assembling a much more difficult task. The horse pasture has pretty much stopped growing which means we will have to start feeding hay soon which adds a bit more work into the daily routine but there is nothing like the sound of happy horses munching away in the quiet of the evening.

On an less upbeat note our beloved cat Jazz has not been seen in over a week. We brought her to the farm when we moved in last year from my home farm and she was at home here alomst right away. She is a terrific mouser and has a strictly no messing around attitude. Not like our other cat Lilly who is all about play and getting into trouble. Since Jazz has been gone Lilly has just not been herself. She spends all her time in the hay loft hiding away from the other two wandering cats who have decided to adopt the farm as their home. Derek thinks Jazz decided that the two new cat addtions to the farm were too much and she's heading back to Bedeque where she was the queen. The farm is just not the same without her.
Our missing kitty Jazz

Thanks to all of you who have showed interest in the upcoming 2008 community shared agriculture (CSA) season. We are still working out the kinks and will have more information in the coming months. I am very excited about the 2008 season as I will be taking the plunge into full time farming which will give me more time to devote to expanding the farm business which will include a road side stand, increased farmers market volume and the CSA. Thank you all for being so supportive and giving me those ever valuable encouraging words. It's a scarry thing going into business and losing the security of the weekly paycheck but I'm commited to trying my best to make it a success.

We hope you are all enjoying the cool fall weather. Take care of each other and we'll be intouch in December for another update from the Farm.

Jen & Derek Campbell