At least the hoop houses didn’t blow away…

No, the plastic covered hoop houses didn’t blow away last night when the wind howled around here.  They stayed put.  With tons of snow around them, they weren’t going anywhere!hoopsnow

This winter has been a challenge!  Snow, intense freezing temperatures, more snow!  In my 23 years on this farm, I’ve never seen so much.  It got up to the barn roof at one point.

In other news, our fabulous, veggie oil chugging white delivery van was deemed unfit for the road.  Very sad!  VanGo was very inexpensive and we made good use of him in the 2014 season, but his frame was rotting.  So we had to get a replacement rightaway.  vangone

In a typically bold and outrageous move, David grabbed Bernard (one of our interns came early to learn what farmers do in the winter) and they flew to Ontario on a cheap Porter flight to buy a Sprinter van (diesel) for a great price.  It was posted on Kijiji, and within 6 minutes, was sold, with 6 interested back-up buyers.  We looked in the Maritimes, but there were no Sprinters to be had.  Bernard was happy because he got to visit his friends and family on their trip home.  So let me introduce you to our new delivery van:


Do you like the lady on the side?  It was a retirement home excursion van.  David removed the retirement graphics, got her properly serviced, and she’s been incredibly useful in transporting all kinds of building materials and farm supplies ever since.  Can you help us name her (or him)?  We still have to work on the rust and get her ready for delivering produce to y’all.  Yay!

Another thing that has been going on here is we have been hiring our crew of paid interns.  Bruce and Nadege got offered a free house in Halifax in exchange for Bruce’s work on it, so they are moving on.  Bruce will be contributing a blog post of his own soon so stay tuned!  We wish them well, and we’re sure they’ll continue to be involved in some way on the farm.

We’ve been building cabins for the interns.  raisewall

bsfjan29Bernard also built a big door for the barn packing area and fixed all my computer technical issues.  And he made amazing pastry treats. Thanks Bernard!!  I will properly introduce all the crew soon.


David has been working with Lori’s partner Andrew on his machine idea.  It turns out that Andrew is a genius!  Thanks to Gretchen Bauta, the Weston Foundation, and the Ecology Action Centre for pulling together to make this happen!  I am really hoping this machine will be ready for the 2015 production season.

David spent a lot of time shovelling off the hoop houses as part of his winter exercise routine.  Because we’re in our 40s, we both have to stay in shape over the winter to be ready for the spring.  It’s critical, but also comical!  You’ll have to trust me because I am NOT including any pictures of us kickboxing in the livingroom.

This has truly been an excellent winter to test the hoop houses!  The end of one of the hoop houses got bent the other day, but otherwise, the 4 hoop houses are ok (so far).  We leave the plastic on to get extra early kale and salad mix.  But mostly we wanted to test the design and materials.  This was also a project in co-operation with the Ecology Action Centre.


Action shot! See that snow flying?


There were 5 bent hoops on the kale house. Not bad, considering the immense loads of snow and rain, and then wind


We are so grateful we didn’t get more damage (yet).  It is truly humbling working with the forces of nature!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon.  Stay safe, stay warm.



Bernard’s amazing puff pastry. There is nothing home grown about it! But man it is delicious!

bernard hazel

Bernard also made an amazing german Hazelnusse Torte. With our home-grown hazelnuts.


One thought on “At least the hoop houses didn’t blow away…

  1. We feel your pain, Jen and David. We have spent all winter shoveling out greenhouses. We no longer consider it a work out program but rather a debilitating one. We are pretty broken up from all of the snow we have had in Newfoundland.

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