Oops!

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This is not a shot from the farm, but from along a trail in Windsor, where the Sprinter delivery van was getting repaired.

We were talking with Dakota on the phone and she was making skutch skutch skutch noises.  Turns out she was raking out old tomato debris from the greenhouse in preparation for a new crop.  She said “It’s not pretty, and it smells bad.”  Not all farm scenes are bliss and harmony, smiles and colour.  We agreed we’d try to post photos of farm scenes good and bad.  Farm reality.  This last week has been a good one, but to be real, we need to mention that we are losing two members of our crew.  Anna and Marisa have been working and contributing since the beginning of May and now they are leaving for work and learning opportunities in the US.  We wish them well, and we will miss them.  Today Hyla made a delicious chocolate beet cake with coloured sprinkles to put on top.  Marisa especially was delighted.

More reality: our delivery van has been in the shop a lot over the last two weeks.  As a result, I (Jen) have been back and forth to Windsor getting repairs done.  Not fun, and not cheap.  I’m not complaining.  The Sprinter has been good to us, with her beautiful farm painting by Hyla all over the outside.  At the end of each season she pulls pretty heavy loads to Halifax three times a week.  In Windsor I saw a sign that said “happy people are not grateful, grateful people are happy.”  Gratitude is the newest crop we’re trying to cultivate along with all the vegetables.

The new greenhouse is coming along.  If all goes well, it should be covered next week.  As we were digging out the ground four feet deep for the Climate Battery, we noticed that one end of the greenhouse was pure red clay.  David had several fleeting moments of doubt regarding the clay end of the house filling with water, but did not do anything to ensure proper drainage.  Oops!  a few days after the Climate Battery was installed, it filled with water after a heavy rain.  The water did not drain after two weeks so we decided to bring the excavator back in.  We had to lower the ground below the entrance so the excavator would fit inside the greenhouse frame, and also had to remove a few cross pieces so there would be room for digging.  We then made a trench along one side of the battery with a drain pipe and crushed rock to carry the trapped water away.   All in all, this was not a disaster, just another detour that comes with trying new things.  We are quite used to these mistakes at Abundant Acres.

Some friends from New Brunswick dropped in today to visit as we were working to fix the drainage issue. They told us many stories of greenhouse troubles they’d had over the past few years.  Was it to make us feel better?  They’d had to cut greenhouse plastic off their houses to save the framework a couple of times due to snow and wind.  When they couldn’t get the greenhouses re-covered, they stopped farming for a couple of years but they are planning to start up again.  We were happy they came to visit and wish them well!

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Planting has begun in the new greenhouse.  In the background, the drainage issue is being dealt with.

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Thanksgiving duck carving, with figs watching from the ledge (photo credit: Hilary Rancourt)

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Morning meeting with strange potato and too-short flowers attending.

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Thanksgiving dinner with family, neighbours, and crew

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Fox field after rock picking.  The rocks are sure handy for filling in ruts on the road

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David, Marshall, and compost

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Fall field scene

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Kathleen, Hyla, Rhi, Anna (posing), and Marisa (laughing) during potato harvest in Marisa’s field.  Marisa was very happy to finally use the spader on her field and it is looking good.  She also got it seeded to rye just between potato harvest and the rain.  Smile.