Week 6: Mr Solutionhead

squirrelbutternutThis week in the pack we expect to have salad mix, garlic scapes, 2 carrots, romaine lettuce, new beet greens, strawberries, dill, and possibly one of kale, swiss chard, or dandelion greens.

We will be continuing our regular distributions this week even though there is a holiday.  Please let us know before the end of Sunday if you are going miss your pick up.

This week on the farm we had our organic pre-certification inspection.  Jessica Fogarty spent three hours checking out the farm and our records.  She sampled some of the strawberries.  We are hoping to be certified by the summer of 2015.Jessica Fogarty

We also had a great visit from George, Yann, and Isabelle.  They dug in and helped out in many ways.  Isabelle and Yann helped with the laying hens.  Yann, Isabelle, and George helped slaughter a sheep.  That’s hard core!  George got down and weeded carrots.  He and the kids were keen to help with everything.  What a great encouragement for us to have people like this around!

George in the carrot patch with his carrot-coloured shirt

George in the carrot patch with his carrot-coloured shirt

carrotlove

Jason Pelley and David pumping used oil into a barrel for Gertie the truck

Jason and David pumping used oil into a barrel for Gertie the truck

I am so impressed with David.  I love the way he solves problems.  Above is a photo of pumping out used fryer oil from a restaurant.  At first the pump didn’t work, and I watched as David tried different things until he figured out he had to reduce the length of the hose the oil was pumping through.  David has been working on getting an alternative fuel source for our delivery truck for months.  It was a huge risk because we didn’t know if it would work.  But as the price of diesel goes up and up it is a relief to have this source.  David had to find the right truck, the right filters, the right pump.  He had to figure out how to dewater the oil and how to store it.  It was very difficult to find a good source of oil.  We could have gotten discouraged and given up.  But David had the guts to keep going with it.

Another example of Mr Solutionhead in action was when he saw me struggling to get feed to the laying hens.  They are way out in the pasture, and the feed is in one tonne tote bags in the barn.  So I scoop out the feed into bins, load them on the tractor, and take them up to the coop.  David had a vision of something more practical, and was willing to put a huge amount of effort into getting a portable grain bin with gravity feed that we could haul around the pasture with the coop.  But it couldn’t be expensive.  Below is a photo of him unloading the second hand bin he bought from a farmer in the Valley.  This farmer was convinced David wouldn’t be able to load the bin and the trailer it goes on and told him to go home and get a bigger trailer.  David persisted, and got the works home.  It will require some adjustments but when it is finished, it will save me a lot of time and work!  Romantic or what?!?

grain boxIn fact, David is not the only Mr Solutionhead.  All of us have had to be persistent and not give up in the face of challenge.  All of us have had to come up with solutions to problem as they arise.  We’ve all had to be flexible and innovative.  That’s what farming is all about.

Here are some more photos from this week:

David and Benjamin raking beds in the front field

David and Benjamin raking beds in the front field

Buckwheat cover crop growing well in front field

Buckwheat cover crop growing well in front field

The irrigation pond has filled up from the rain this week.

The irrigation pond has filled up from the rain this week.  What a relief!!

See you all soon,

Jen, David, Bruce, Marshall, Benjamin, Lori, and Nadege

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